Sunday, November 20, 2005


Morning & God’s Second Chances

I am a morning person. Though my schedule often does not allow it since most of my ministry carries me late into the night more often than not, I still love mornings. Mornings are fresh and new. Especially those late autumn mornings like this one when everything is cool and crisp. Leaves crackle under your feet as you walk and the air smells of winter that is just over the horizon..

I am on Eastern Standard Time while the rest of Nashville, where I am working this weekend, is on Central Time, meaning that I’m up an hour or so before the rest of the world. With nothing to do until noon in a strange town I just started walking. During this walk in the cool air I was reminded how wonderful morning walks can be. Everything is new. The sun, just peaking over the horizon, reminds us that God is always breaking through with a new dawn to overwhelm the darkness in our lives.

Mornings remind me of resurrection. I don’ t know about you, but I am always better after I have slept and when I allow myself to wake up without the troublesome noise of an alarm. No matter what happens the evening before, the sun always comes up and a new dawn is born. That serves to remind me that our God is a God of second chances. We get to start over afresh. It is not that what is before is gone, but there is at least the chance to reframe it and begin anew. Relationships that have fallen upon dark nights of their existence may be able to see dawn again. Hope that was lost in the prior evenings darkness can be restored with the warming grace of the Son. The light of the morning allows us to see things again in a new way.

Ironically, however, just as I was reflecting upon the awesome power of grace and God’s unending pursuit of resurrection in our lives I happened upon a crime scene. Just like the one’s you see on television with yellow tape, half a dozen police officers and a chalk line drawn in the middle of the street. The moment in time, carried over from the previous evening, was frozen. Cars were still in the middle of the road, nothing had moved since whatever happened, happened. For somebody it would not be a day of resurrection, it would be a day of trial. Some family had lost a son or brother. Somebody had lost a friend by an act of violence. Seeing the strain upon the officers faces and the pain of the bystanders standing over and against the beauty of the dawning sun made me cherish the dawn all the more. I prayed silently for those families affected by this event and desired to hold those I love more closely upon my return to them.

I want to take more morning walks. Spend more time savoring the power of resurrection. Listen more intently to God’s voice in the rustle of the leaves and see God’s face in the waking of the sun over the horizon.

God, grant that I may cherish ever dawn as if it were my last. Let me honor those I love with a love that is true, authentic and without condition. Help me to live and love like you love me. Amen

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