There’s a gentle breeze stirring. The world is quiet except for the occasional sound of an early morning car engine. I hear the closer-by occasional sound of a woodpecker on the tree out back. The birds are awake and making their morning rounds from tree to tree. I hear their chirping and I am seeking to locate, discover their colors, their names, and their plans for the day. There are the two mourning doves who sit outside my back door, contentedly cooing; and the one who is faithfully tending her nest on my front porch. I am reminded of the song from my childhood; “all nature sings and around me rings…this is my Father’s world.” It’s a great day in the morning.
It’s A Great Day in the Morning
I remember a morning so like this when we were in our camper many years ago. I was listening, observing, and feeling contentment in just being still. Listening as the fronds of the palms growing beside my site rustled and brushed first against each other, and then against the branches of a nearby tree. The sky was muted gray tones when I had walked to the bathhouse – but in just moments had become a pale gray with no distinct coloration. And then came the sunshine and the glory of a new day dawning!
WHEN MORNING GILDS THE SKY
Who would have ever guessed that I would routinely sing words that were first published in 1744 in a Catholic songbook in Germany? Who would have thought that a simple melody composed in 1868 by Joseph Barnby would regularly flow from my heart? And yet here again, as on many previous occasions, the song I learned in my choir at the Langdale Baptist Church so many years ago, rang out across the scene before me.
When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries: May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair: May Jesus Christ be praised!
When you begin the day, O never fail to say, May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice, May Jesus Christ be praised!
The unknown author and the composer of this song, like thousands who came before and after, have experienced the same soul- stirring desire to be still and praise God.
I remember driving through the night and into the morning with my sister. As the dawn broke, we both suddenly began singing those words. Our hearts were touched by the display of newness and a profound desire to praise the Lord.
THIS MORNING IS NO DIFFERENT
This morning is no different. I remember standing on the front porch of a camping cabin years ago watching as the pale pink tones sneaked up on the horizon just above the swaying trees. Swaying – I analyze that word to discover if it is truly the right adjective to describe the trees’ motions. As the breeze touched them they gracefully bent and leaned as if in a slow waltz with each other. They weren’t in a hurry, just gently moving, almost in a rhythm. Yes, perhaps that’s the right word. It was a rocking, ever so gentle; as a mother stands rocking her almost sleeping infant, never varying her motion lest the infant feel the change and become restless.
The trees in their gentleness had perhaps reached into some subconscious memory in me, and awakened a pleasant place for my mind to rest. They created a quiet place for my eyes – a solitude of fortifying my deepest longings to “be still and know God,” but seldom take the time to do so.
REALLY SEEING TREE BARK
I find that my mind keeps straying from this memory to the present beauty. I wrestle with the need to get busy with my “today stuff“, but I linger just a bit longer. The tree bark has caught the morning color and I see pattern, variety, shape, and design. The birds each sing a different melody, the buds are uncurling and revealing new life.
And so I remain captive to this discovery, this beauty, this amazing display of creation for just another moment, caught between distant memories of other similar mornings.
I pause to greet this new day with joy and refreshment. The day holds potential, promise, and possibility because I’ve met with God in the beauty of His abundant creation. It’s a great day in the morning!
I’d love to hear about some of your great days in the morning and see your pictures.