Last night, before going to sleep, I did a radical thing. I set my alarm clock for five-thirty. I debated back and forth for a few minutes - lack of sleep, see the sunrise versus being rested and missing it.
The sunrise won.
Surprisingly, I didn't even need the alarm this morning. At twenty after five I woke up and was ready to begin a new day. (Did you wake me, Lord? Perhaps You've desired that extra time with me as I have with You?)
I pulled on my runners and slipped outside to find the world a different place than the hot, bustling mornings I've experienced recently on my way out the door to work. Moist, cool air, the shadowed neighborhood in perfect silence save the triumphant chorus coming from the patch of woods to the side of our yard - birds, no doubt put in service by their Creator to usher in the dawn.
Somewhere between the half hour journey from the front step and back again, from shadows to the glowing colors of dawn, my heart was stilled. There is something essential about breaking out of the ordinary, stepping outside the busyness of life to gain fresh perspective.
Depending on our season of life and opportunity, these break-away times may look different.
For me, this morning, it was waking up early to breathe in the beauty of my Father's world. To enjoy His voice in the silence, speaking through the wonder of creation, speaking forth His lovingkindness in giving yet another day.
Turns out, that was more restful than an extra hour of sleep.