Morning by Morning


For the last few weeks, I have been waking up an hour or so earlier than I usually do. I decided recently to run a 5k in October with a few members of our missional family. So I have to start preparing to run 3.1 miles. I’ve decided that 5:45 a.m. is the time that I will set aside to run each morning. I’ve started slow because the last time I really ran any distance more than a mile was in junior high. Running obviously is not my strong suit.

Getting up this early, it is silent around my house. My wife is still sleeping. My cat is running around in hysterics as cats do in the early hours of the morning. In these moments, I sit in my living room and start to stretch. The morning always feels slow. Almost as if time has been suspended.

I have begun writing down the things I want to be praying for in a little Moleskine notebook that I keep on hand. Generally, I’m really bad at remembering to pray for my family and neighbors. Especially when I’m trying to do so by writing them down in a journal. I am trying to be intentional with my time in these quiet mornings, trying to be prayerful.

After stretching (often spending not enough time doing this like the rookie runner I am) I begin my run. There is so much you notice on a run that you don’t notice when you are driving. The imperfections in the concrete, your neighbors landscaping, the blooming trees in the medians. I’ve been learning how good it is to slow down and invest in the place you are. Running every other morning has opened a place for me to slow down each morning and reflect on the goodness of God to me.

My favorite part of my run comes as I’m finishing up and the sun has started to rise. The sky fills with shades of red, blue, gray, and orange. Colors that are not standard. Colors that can’t be artificially created. They are so divinely made. I always tell my wife that my favorite part of the day is sunset/sunrise when the colors clash. There is a beautiful unification of oranges and blues that make up this event that we call sunrise and sunset.

Upon returning to my house after my slow-paced run, I grab a pour-over filter from the cabinet and put water on to boil and grind the beans. This week it’s been a single origin from a roaster in North Carolina that a good friend sent me. After the water boils over, I take it off the burner and begin to pour the water over the ground coffee beans. Once the cup is ready, I grab my Bible and head to a dimly-lit living room. I open up the Word and begin reading several chapters from the Old Testament, a psalm, and a chapter from one of the gospels.

I’ve come to treasure this time as one of rest. Though I may be physically active on these mornings, my spirit is at rest in the goodness of God. It has been really remarkable to me the difference this routine has made as I go about my day more aware of the ways the Lord evidences his graciousness to me continually in the small things that I’ve so often overlooked. I am grateful for his gentle teaching on these slow mornings. His mercies truly are new, each and every morning.

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