Racing the Sunset

Mars Sunset

Life is a race. The race to the finish line, the race to retirement, maybe the race for knowledge, power, or money. Whatever you’re racing for in life, whatever the grand goal is, there’s a chance you’ll never meet it, that it will slip away, like the sunset over a beach. What if your goal only has you racing the sunset?

John F. Kennedy once spoke about his goals during a speech in Houston, saying, “But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?

Why do anything? Why try if you’re only going to be racing the sunset? But few realize that once their sunset disappears,  it’s gone forever.

Kennedy challenged a nation to race its sunset in that great speech in Houston, saying,  “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

On January 4, 2004 the MER-A, commonly known as the Mars Spirit Rover, landed on Mars, a celestial body leagues away from the simple goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. A year later, on May 19, 2005, the Mars Spirit Rover took the above image of a sunset on Mars.

Only 43 years separated a President’s dream of a man landing on the moon from a machine’s photo capture of a sunset on Mars. What is your sunset? Does it dare you to dream? To explore? Always chase it, let it pull you forward into life’s amazing moments.

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