Stop and see the sunrise


I am not a patient person. I multitask when I can and attempt to finish things faster than the deadlines I set for myself. Action is my middle name, and I’ve always lived an all or nothing sort of life.

Pinpointing what changed that is difficult, but something about this sunrise cemented it for me. Heading into work one morning (early, of course, so I could get more done), I couldn’t help but admire the rich, beautiful hues painting the sky. I wanted a picture to be able to relish and capture something so spectacular. But I wasn’t about to pull over and take one. No. Instead, I risked my life by trying to take a picture through my windshield while driving my car. I not only scared all the cars around me (turns out I’m not as good at motion photography multitasking as I thought)(also this is probably not a great place to mention that I work in law enforcement…), but I got several crappy, blurry pictures. Disappointed, I gave up on the idea or a photo and turned my attention back to my commute.

I pulled into the parking lot, ready to make the mad dash into the building and get started, when I glanced up and across the field adjacent to my office. And I saw this view. Easily the most dramatic of the morning. So I put my things down, picked up my phone, and took this picture.

So many times I shortchange the beauty in things because I won’t slow down enough to appreciate them. That’s been my goal this year. Forget the all or nothing. There’s something to be said for piece by piece with enough of a breather to take it all in. Only when I stopped my forward motion was I able to appreciate what I’d categorized as merely beautiful. But there was something extraordinary in that sunrise that didn’t include my to-do list or a tally of all the ways I’d already fallen short of those impossible goals.

Instead, I was reminded of these verses in Lamentations 3:22-23:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

What I forget when I get caught up in my own little whirlwind, is that I can’t possibly earn God’s love because it’s not something that ever stops for his children. His mercy is new every morning, and His faithfulness–even when I didn’t meet yesterday’s goals–is greater than my failures. That sunrise was all those things and more. And I’m willing to wait and be still if it means seeing God unfold something equally beautiful in my life.

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