August 28, 2012
I'm beginning to love mornings.
I'm a Hightower. I come from a long line of 'morning people.' I may not come out of my room singing, but I'm still taking plenty of shots from my long-time roommate who was born and raised a night owl and who would just as soon sleep the day's beginning right away.
These days, that's not for me.
I wake up just to feel the air of possibility. The season change helps. The promise of cooler temperatures always makes everything pretty and sparkling. But there really is something magic about the soft silver glow seeping through the trees outside my window, up in through the blinds and into my room. I let the big smiling face of my golden retriever out of her crate and head out to the kitchen to work on breakfast. She doesn't really know what to make of my new "early-start" fascinations either. But she's proving to be far more obliging than the other occupant of the house.
My absolute favorite part of the morning is my commute to the GCTS campus downtown. Best 15 minutes of the day. Slipping into the long, winding snakes of traffic on I-95 means the one bend that gives a panoramic view of the Jacksonville skyline splashed in the brilliant orange of the new day. If I hit that bend at just the right point of a good song, my surroundings crescendo and send an electric surge of energy down my spine. This is a beginning. This is possibility at its finest.
I need these moments. They’re good moments. In the midst of overwhelming and rapid spiritual, intellectual and sometimes emotional growth, these things press in and come as delightful surprises. I would like to think it’s my body’s natural way of telling me that God is still turning the world even though He feels pretty far off these days.
One of my small group members says that feeling means He’s closer than I think. Closer than He’s probably ever been. That really got me thinking.
The noise of my day has gotten too loud. The voices are too many. The task at hand has turned into the task of all. No matter how many faces I’m around. No matter how busy I may be. I’m drying out. The King of Love is slowly putting on the brakes to the point of starvation for something more.
“I will also make her like a wilderness, make her like desert land, and slay her with thirst.” (Hosea 2:3)
He’s breathtakingly explicit in Hosea 2.
He’ll get us back.
The entire passage involves a break down and a restoration in intimate detail. But that’s how He works. He gets in close and makes you shiver, even when you sometimes wish He wouldn’t.
I have to start listening. My new morning fascination makes the perfect amount of room for tuning into the Presence that calls the rain, bends the mountains and silences the lions. And praying for the grace that maybe a fraction of that Presence might seep down into my bones.
This is true beginning.
Kate Hightower is writing to you in the midst of her Master of Divinity pursuit at Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville where she is also a Byington Scholar. She is a debilitatingly right-brained, born-in-the-wrong-century, introspective pseudo-nerd with passions that range anywhere from writing, to French cooking to Bob Dylan. These days she resides in Jacksonville with one mental foot in the GCTS Library downtown, and the other is beach-side with her Golden Retriever, Stella… the world's first dog superhero.