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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a ridiculous morning person. As I write this, it's 7:30 in the morning, and I've been up for almost two hours. I love the peace and quiet of morning, but I also love the sunrise. I think sunrises and sunsets and just general sky things figure beautifully into adventure tales -- and that's the tale I'm telling here. So I thought it would be appropriate, both for this blog series and for me as a human, to go out, watch the sunrise, and write about it. IMG_5571

One of my great loves in this world is the sky. I am so enamored of it. One day, before GC, one of my GC members and I simply stood outside watching the sunset, all blue and gold and pink. The sky fills me with hope and so much joy that I could burst. I can't stop smiling when I look at a morning sky.

The funniest thing about this morning sky is the fact that when I left home, it was raining. Sprinkling lightly, as a matter of fact. I didn't know if the clouds would clear in time for me to watch the sun come up in all its glory. But as I watched, little by little, the blackness gave way to deep navy, and then -- dawn.

When people talk about dawn, they talk about rosy fingers of light streaking the horizon. That's exactly what dawn is like. When I looked out my window a few minutes before I left the house, the sky was a rich midnight blue. When I walked out to my car, one small streak of soft, shimmering bronze quivered across the sky. The bronze gave way to pink and orange, then bright copper, which covered the underside of dusty periwinkle clouds like the coating on fancy cookware.

I'm going to confess to you that I wrote this blog entry from a parking lot. My apartment doesn't necessarily have good sky views, so I wanted to get out. My favorite park would have been a good option, but it's wet this morning, so I moved to Plan B: sitting in my warm car (thank goodness) in the parking lot of my workplace, which faces east. I watched the sun come up above the overpass that cuts across the skyline. It's not a perfect view, but I don't mind so much. I'm learning that very few things in life are going to be perfect, and we don't have to try to make them so.

So here I sit, watching from our parking lot as the sky lightens bit by bit, as the nucleus of the sunrise burns brighter and brighter, a kind of reverse embers. It's quiet and I am alone and warm and comfortable. The only sounds are those of my car's heater and the barely-audible noise of a tiny raindrop hitting my windshield.

I was told that the sunrise would be at 7:44 this morning. It's 7:44 now, and I have yet to see the sun, but the entire eastern view bears witness to him. My view (partially obscured by a telephone pole) shimmers with what could be gold dust. Off to my right, to the south, I see those periwinkle clouds breaking; behind them I can just glimpse robin's-egg blue.

We don't often slow down enough to watch things like this. On school days, I'm up early, leaving the house at 8 or 8:30 to go practice. By that time, the sky is already awake, and I'm often so fraught with energy, consumed with where I'm going, that I never pause. Sure, I take notice. I praise God for the sky. But how often have I ever sat down and watched it happen? It's too slow of a process for that. Even now, my instinct is to get out of the car, buy breakfast, and work on my graduate school applications.

But for now, I will simply sit and watch. I can see a flicker of true gold in a sliver of sky between tree branches (the one tree we have in Lubbock). Everything is growing a little lighter, less clearly defined, as if the sun shunts all the clouds into one shade of blue, blue, blue. The rain still falls softly on my windshield, lulling me into meditativeness and reminding me that not everything will be what I expect, and that's okay.

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I go to moderate a blog post that just went up, right on schedule, and then I return to the sky in front of me. The song I'm listening to right now ("Vapor," by Gungor) refers to God as "my dawn... my sunlight." If there's a more appropriate term, I've never heard it. He lights up the sky and my entire life. Talking to Him is like talking to light and gold. Maybe that's one of the reasons I love morning so much: because it reminds me of God.

Now I think the sun has gone up into the clouds, because they are lighter and I still see no sun. Only a few minuscule raindrops still fall on my windshield. The entire sky is lighter now, and it happened almost imperceptibly. That's what God is like: lightening, bit by bit, and we can hardly tell that we are different until we look up in surprise to notice that we have changed. This gives me a lot of hope, because I'm in a phase of my life where it's hard to remember God throughout the day. But may He be praised, because the sunrise reminds me that He's working in me even now, even as I write this, even when I am distracted beyond belief.

I haven't learned anything big while watching the sunrise. Inspiration has not hit me like a ton of bricks. But I have seen creation, and I have done something I have never done before, and I have seen God's handiwork and how it is unique everyday.  I have seen how light banishes darkness every time. And I think that's the real story of what adventure is: as we walk the path God has laid out for us, the light will banish darkness. Every. Single. Time.

May we hope in that today. May it make us unafraid.

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