The first thing I do when I walk downstairs every morning is take my dogs outside. They’re all over me. Whining. Jumping. Running to the door. If I’m not fully awake before they greet me, I quickly come to life, grab the leash and get their little doggie buns out the door before their bladders explode. Forget the coffee. Who needs a shot of caffeine when you have a burst of canine?
Lucky for me…or should I say, blessed am I…when the first thing I see as I open my front door is the sunrise. No two are ever the same. The horizon may not altar much, but every sunrise is a beautiful, glorious surprise. The tree line may have the same irregular bumps and ragged edges. The deserted country road may boast the same straight lines and winding turn. The fields may still spread their wide expanse with rows of crops across the landscape, but the sky? I can never count on the same blues, or the same pinks or oranges. I can never expect to see the same greens or yellows. I can never predict the presence of clouds or the color of the sun and, yet, somehow I think God enjoys stirring my heart by twirling the heavens with His watercolors. Even those who don’t acknowledge Him appreciate the wonder of an early morning sky beholden to the Beholder…He’s the only One who gets to decide how to paint each new dawn.
Oh, I know not all surprises are pleasant. Some are framed with painful horizons, marred by bumps and ragged edges, they seem to pierce the sun and repel the light. Some lead us down roads with one winding turn after another. Some have planted rows and rows of unwanted growth. Maybe that’s why God prepares such beautiful sunrises. He knows how much we need good surprises. The kind that stir our hearts to awaken a thankful response. The kind that brings color to our world and paints beautiful pictures on the great expanse of our memory. Reminders that He is good. He is faithful. He is true.
Every sunrise has a horizon. I have one, too. According to my online dictionary, my horizon is the limit of my mental perception, experience or interest. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say, “I need to broaden my horizons,” but I’m thinking I might need to give it a shout out myself! It means it’s time to get out of my comfort zone. It’s time to expand my knowledge. It’s time to move on. It’s time to do something else. Sometimes I get stuck so God helps me out. He shakes me up a bit. He surprises me. He gives me a proper sunrise by pushing past the tree line, revealing what’s around the bend, or planting something new. Perspective is everything.
When I wake up in the morning I don’t know what the day is going to hold. Anything could happen. When I open the door every morning I don’t know what I’ll see. Anything could appear. If I don’t treat each day as a gift from God I risk missing out on the surprise in the sunrise. With my weathered eye on the horizon and a proper perspective, I see the tree line reaches to heaven, the road leads to grace, and the field produces a harvest. And I can’t tell you how glad I am that no two sunrises are the same.
Sometimes I need a little help in appreciating each new day. I need a reminder that some surprises are good for the soul. I need a burst of color, an explosion of light. I need God’s perspective. I need the brush of His fingers to paint pictures on the canvas of my heart and when He does…I become beholden to my Beholder. He’s the only One who gets to decide how to paint my dawns. He’s the only One who knows how to mix just the right amount of color to give my heart a proper twirl.
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True…” Revelation 19:11