We all have something that tests our patience, be it your kids, coworkers, Walmart, whatever.
The real test of patience for me is the simple task of driving; especially driving at five ‘till eight on any given weekday morning.
Morning commutes to work are frustrating and no matter how many routes I’ve found, I always end up behind that one car that chills in the passing lane going 10 under the speed limit.
I will always end up behind that car.
Despite this though, I’ve grown to love my morning commutes for one reason – the horizon.
One morning in particular – I was pulling out of my apartment complex and was faced with car after car coming from both directions. As I sat there waiting for the ceaseless line of cars to end so I could cross traffic, my eyes were drawn to the golden brush strokes of the horizon before me.
The water tower was silhouetted by the orange and yellow hues of the sun that were playing on the edge of a town lost in hustle and bustle.
Oh, we were missing out.
I was almost grateful that more cars seemed to join the traffic that kept me from moving forward; just for another moment to take in the beauty that glowed before me.
Nevertheless, aware of the line that was beginning to form behind me, I hit the gas and eased into the flow of traffic with the sunrise still playing in my mind.
As I drove down main street, the sun peaked between the numerous buildings that lined the road. As I neared the top of the hill about ready to descend, I anticipated the view I knew I would soon see.
This point in my commute, lasting only a few seconds, has always been my favorite. You can see for miles and the sunrise is the most beautiful from this view.
But you have to be looking.
You have to be ready, because before you know it, your view is quickly obscured by the buildings and trees that seem to grow in size the lower you descend down the hill.
There have been many mornings where I’ve missed this view while glancing at the clock on my dash, anxiously willing the car in front of me to drive faster than the seconds that were ticking by.
I’ve missed the sunrise because throwing a glance of disapproval at the car that was going too slow and wouldn’t allow anyone to pass just seemed more important at the time.
I wasn’t about to let that happen this morning though.
I knew this sunrise would be worth seeing.
And I wasn’t wrong.
Between the time it took me to get from my apartment complex to this point in my commute, the sun had already risen above the cusp of the skyline and had illuminated most of the horizon in front of me, which now glowed with a pinkish haze.
It took my breath away.
I couldn’t stop the praise that flowed from my lips as I thanked God over and over again for the beauty that he bestowed upon this morning.
I wish I could have taken a picture, but I knew it wouldn’t have done it justice.
You had to be looking.
And that’s just it, isn’t it.
We never look.
God’s glory and goodness is all around us; always working, always weaving its way into the miniscule moments of our lives.
Yet we miss it over and over again because something very harmful has happened to our way of living. We have allowed ourselves to be swept away by lesser pursuits; by vain strivings and destructible idols.
We are ruled by the clock, controlled by the opinions of others, and tormented by our own disapproving pep-talks and criticisms. How sad it is that these are what motivate us to wake up in the morning; to get ourselves out of bed only to do it all over again.
What if we woke up for the sunrise instead?
What if we got ourselves out of bed to enjoy an extra moment in relationship with God?
What if we weren’t motivated by ‘getting stuff done’ but rather by learning something new, memorizing the beauty around us, or seeing the beauty of God come to life before our very eyes.
I’ve missed the sunrise before and I know I’ll miss it again in the future.
But that morning was a beautiful reminder that, as Jen Wilkin puts it, ‘the God of the Bible is too lovely to abandon for lesser pursuits.’
There is immense beauty on the horizon, both literally and figuratively.
We tend to look ahead at the car in front of us, frustrated that they don’t seem to care that we are in a hurry. We look at the days ahead with angst, not knowing what they may hold or if they will be good to us or not.
What if tomorrow morning we look ahead at the sunrise instead of the taillights, thankful for God’s glory in creation. What if we look at the days ahead with hope, knowing that He will never lead us to a place where He is not; where His beauty cannot touch or be felt.
There is beauty on the horizon if we are willing to see the hand of God in the heavens as well as in our hearts.