I woke up at 4:00 this morning and with no hesitation, jumped in the shower. By 4:30, I was out the door and arriving at my friend’s house to pick her up. We were headed for an early-morning hike to catch the sunrise.
This was a first for me. I don’t often have the luxury of time alone, but it seems the older my kids get, the more alone time I have. Not a problem, because I love spending this time with my Husband. Last night, I prayed, “How best can we spend this time together?” Watching the sun rise over a beautiful river from the perch of the tallest rock in the middle of it had my vote, so I called up my friend, who shares the same love and pursuit of the Lord, and we decided it was a brilliant idea.
We headed south at the darkest part of the night – right before morning begins. When we got there, we both squelched our reservations about the dark, put our emotions back in their place and set off on the trail. Ahead of us was a mile or so to walk through dense, dark woods to the lookout, followed by a perilous climb aided only by the light on her iphone. But the glorious dawn awaiting us made everything else pale in comparison.
Walking the trail was quite different in the dark. There we were, surrounded by darkness with just a little light shed on the path directly in front of us. Of course, we discussed as we walked the spiritual aspect of this walk. How like life it is, to have to walk through life surrounded by darkness with light illuminating just that next step. And the sounds of the night, the breeze in the trees causing things to rustle and the animals warbling and whimpering and scuffling about just out of sight, made the walk a little fearful. What was happening in our imaginations was probably way more than what was happening in reality, but with our imaginations being our immediate sense of reality, there was much to entertain fear in. We had to just trust that the Lord was watching over us, that His angels were guarding us because He declares it in His word, and we had to keep walking.
When we got down to the rocks, we climbed cautiously toward the best spot from which to watch the sunrise – my favorite rock. We climbed up to the top, still surrounded by the night, and sat in expectation of the morning. There were mosquitoes everywhere! It reminded me that there will always be pesky little distractions as I do my best to keep my eyes on the sky. The fish were feeding not far below the horizon where I was trying to focus, and between the mosquitoes, our conversation and the fish, I struggled. Not only did the distraction of things going on around me threaten to steal the sunrise from me, but the subtlety of the sunrise itself. It’s not a fantastic, momentous kind of thing. It creeps. With such strength, the sunrise gently releases light across the horizon until before you know it, the dawn has arrived. We sat there, in wondrous expectation of a breathtaking beauty, capitulating to our expectations as the sunrise snuck upon us. We then discussed how like God’s love the sunrise is. Pushing back darkness and breaking forth in such intensity. So powerful, and yet, so gentle. After the sun displayed itself across the vast expanse of the sky, we packed up and walked back to the car, satisfied with the conversations had and the awakening of the dawn we witnessed. Thank you, Lord, for moments like these and friends to share them with!