‘No Longer Available’

“…we no longer have this item…”

Words like these kept popping up before my eyes. I clicked and called and started to panic. It was a photographer’s nightmare. I was three days away from leaving for the nature photo op of the year…and I had just discovered that I didn’t have all the gear.


2017 Lunar Solar Eclipse was going to happen and I wasn’t ready. Nor were the two people I was planning to take with me.

My schedule had been a bit crazy and I figured the week before the trip I could do some research, sidle down to my local camera shop and get the filter needed, if I needed one at all.

It wasn’t turning out to be quite that simple! I hadn’t bargained on this being a national event…and items being sold out. I had been thinking about traffic and had made sure I had the clothes necessary…but somehow I missed the essential camera gear?!

But as I realized my trip was hanging in the balance, the Lord brought home a powerful lesson I never wanted to forget.

I was dealing with the reality of: “I have three days to master basic solar photography and acquire my gear since I didn’t realize the need and spent time on things not as essential.”

What if someday I’m facing a far greater question: “I have two months to live and invest in what matters since so far I’ve spent all my time on myself and trivial pursuits.”

That would be a far greater disaster and the perspective helped me grow a bit calmer. I knew in terms of my eternal destination I was safe in Christ, but when the time of my home going approached, would I be ready otherwise?

Just like camera gear doesn’t blossom off a computer screen, relationships don’t either. Am I investing in my relationship with God now? How about my family? Or will I be building at ground zero with the clock ticking down to final seconds?

The glimpse of eternity stuck with me as the photographic saga continued to unfold.

By a sheer miracle I was able to locate eclipse glasses for myself and the two going with me. By another I was able to order the last available piece of a sheet of special solar filter paper, thought I wasn’t sure if it would arrive in time. It did – on Friday!

Last minute gear was the Lord’s gift in this scenario. But I’d honestly much rather not have to ask Him for last minute relationships.

Due to coming down with a cold last minute, I ended up shooting the eclipse at home instead of in North Carolina. Fortunately my system had recovered enough by Monday afternoon that I didn’t have to tote a tissue box outside as well as my camera! :) I put together my gear, aimed my shots and enjoyed the experience with my family, making special memories! It was extra fun because I had the tools necessary – barely! – to really enjoy it.

(Photographer’s note: see how the shadows turned spots of light into moon shapes?! Neat-O!)

But what about my life? My relationships? Am I making the investments and preparations now to be able to actually enjoy those last moments on earth as I anticipate seeing Christ face-to-face? Will comforting Scriptures come to mind and prayer be second-nature? Will I be laughing with family over happy memories and leaving them a legacy of loving faithfulness?

Well, the eclipse is finished for this year and this is one photographer already far more mentally prepared for the 2024 eclipse…maybe I should order those supplies six months in advance? How about a phone notification? :)

The question for me now to consider is: Am I ready for the Lord to call me home? Am I loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? Do I love my neighbor as myself?”

BIG questions. Well, first and foremost I’m ultimately ready because Christ is my personal Savior. And then secondly, the ‘Five Decisions’ are helping me to get ready life-wise. It is my prayer, that by God’s grace, when He calls me home, my answer will be:

“Yes, Lord. I’m ready!”

How about you, friend?

Love in Christ,


P.S. This is a fantastic lead-in to our next post series coming here on the blog!! So excited to announce it soon!! Stay tuned!

“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27