I don't think I have ever been a morning person. This important detail must have slipped my mind when I accepted my first job after graduate school. I was required to be at work, in problem-solving mode, at 7 AM on Sunday morning. To get to work, I had to drive an hour and a half, on country roads in the snowbelt (I had graduated in December). My first thought was to call and back out of this job. However, positons in ministry are not easy to find, especially half way through the fiscal year. Besides, I was working for God; it is best to think twice before backing down on such a commitment.
It was very dark and cold as I got set to leave the house on that first Sunday. Even the dog didn't move as I crept through the house. She just opened one eye to peer at me from her spot on the couch, looking at me like I was crazy.
I settled into the driver's seat with my gallon mug of super strength coffee. I am pretty sure that I didn't see another car on the road for at least 30 minutes. However, as I turned east onto the highway, what I saw made my heart skip a beat (as I think about it, maybe it was the coffee kicking in). I had seldomly been up at this time of day, or at least not in the frame of mind to appreciate sunrise. To a visual person like me, the colors were stunning.
I entertained the thought of trying to take a picture to capture this moment, Wisely, I reconsidered; I was driving 70 miles per hour. Past experience also told me that there was little chance that a photo could do justice to this sight. I knew in my heart that this was a moment meant for me, from God. He knew how much I would cherish this view. It was a message reminding me that He was with me on this trip, that He appreciated my sacrifice.
I have always been especially aware of the presence of God and his Spirit in the beauty of nature, especially on that cold winter morning.