Early…but, not of my choosing!

I am an early riser, and it’s early as I write this morning. I’m not up early this morning because I choose to be, but because the security company that monitors the church chose for me to be. The alarm (and subsequently my phone) went off at 3 a.m. My first response was “disregard.” I thought I would go back to sleep. I didn’t, which is probably best because the phone rang again at 3:20 a.m., and the word was the motion detector was alarming once again. This time, I asked them to send the police to check things out. They did. My phone rang a third time at 3:32 a.m. They needed me to come to the church. They discovered a door unlocked. That’s why I’m up this early today. Way too early, even for me. No need to let an opportunity pass, though.

sunrise beachEarly is when I usually meet the Lord. There’s some biblical evidence that God gets up early, too. I get the sense from reading the Psalmist that God is waiting to meet us:

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 59:16

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 88:13
But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

The morning reminds me that God is a God of second chances. It’s a new day today. Everything I messed up yesterday I have an opportunity to redeem today. Every morning reminds me that God is still in the transformation business. He’s still in the business of transforming me (and there’s a lot of me that needs transforming). He’s still in the business of transforming His creation. And I still can’t believe, He wants to us you and me to accomplish the task. I suppose that’s one reason I appreciate the mission of the United Methodist Church–to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. That’s the task. Every morning, I’m reminded that we have a new opportunity.

Morning really does give me hope. It reminds me, yet again, that we are people of hope. Hope compels us to keep moving forward. Hope prevents us from being overcome with the cares and burdens of this world. I’m not one for watching the news in the morning. I read a newspaper instead (does that make me a dinosaur?). But, I selectively read it. I look at the obituaries. I might need to know if I’m preaching a funeral. More likely, I’m looking to see how many people under 50 have died. I read the sports page. I like to do the puzzles. I don’t want bad news in the morning. I’ll save that for later in the day. The 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock news is sufficient for finding out what’s going on in the world. Watching the news brings me down. Causes a little bit of despair. That’s what evening does for me. Hope begins to fade. I become a little more weary. I don’t know if it’s because of the news, but I know the news doesn’t really help. I suppose my life is a reflection of the Psalmist when he said: Psalm 30:5–For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Yeah, I really do love the mornings…even the mornings when the phone wakes me up at 3 a.m. It’s a distraction, sure, but how often has God met me in the distractions? Maybe that’s what this devotional writer meant this morning, too: Our Daily Bread

Enjoy your morning. Remember, it’s an opportunity to redeem everything that was wrong yesterday. Don’t waste the chance!

Until next time, keep looking up…

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