Article from the Messenger-Inquirer, October 2020
Some people arise before the sun does, seemingly on a regular basis. Honestly, it has been a foreign concept to me for many years. Why would anyone willingly put themselves through it? But, I thought I would give it a try. My work schedule is flexible, so I decided to go in early a few mornings a week in order to have my afternoons off. Af first, it wasn’t much fun. My bed is comfortable. But, soon I started to embrace the routine, enjoy it even.
The stars greet me as I step off the porch. Steam rises from my coffee as I settle it into the cup holder in my car. As I pull from the driveway each morning, I punch the button to start a CD playing. Thirty minutes of worship, coffee and prayer.
These quiet, early mornings are now a favorite part of my days. My little town sleeps as I drive through it, making my way to the country road that leads to the highway. As I pass several miles of corn and soybeans, my headlights cut through the darkness on the rural road. Occasionally, an opossum or raccoon wanders into my path. I keep a lookout for deer too. I’ve seen a few. But, usually, it’s just Jesus and me and the lovely aroma of brewed bliss. (Coffee drinkers can relate.)
As I near the end of the country road, headlights appear from the highway. I am not alone in this world. Other people are awake too. Interestingly, as I edge onto the highway during these early mornings, a specific song starts to play on the CD. I am a creature of habit and listen to the same songs in the same order each morning.
“Awake my soul, prepare an entrance for Your glory
And let my heart become a throne for You to dwell
And when I need Your Holy Spirit more than life itself
Then Christ is formed in me”
The song is “Awake My Soul” by Phiilips, Craig and Dean. The lyrics are profound. As the day wakes up on my morning drive, I am called to open my eyes anew. I am called to follow Jesus intentionally. I am inspired to seek Him passionately. I desire to be awake…awake to the moving of the Holy Spirit. Awake to the power of God’s Word. Awake to the transformative work of the gospel.
The message in the song calls me to task. It calls me to humility.
“When I lose myself, I reflect Your image, when I break my will, then I am whole. When I give my all, I find life everlasting. Then Christ is formed in me.”
As I near the stoplight at the intersection of the busy highway, I am greeted by numerous headlights of other travelers. Light poles along the way also illuminate the darkness around me. The closer to the city I get, it becomes obvious that the world is waking up and starting another day.
The next stoplight brings me in view of a gas station. Bright lights shine in all directions and people hustle in and out. To this point, all the illumination has been artificial light. The flip of a switch turns on the power and light pours forth. But, as I pull into the parking lot at work, the eastern sky begins to glow. No power on Earth can compare. The God of the universe says morning has arrived. The God of the universe says it’s time to awaken. In more ways than one.
As so often happens, a song’s message leads me to God’s Word.
“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14
A few verses before this one also lend instruction:
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10
We live in a dark world, because the prince of darkness rules it. If there was ever a time when Believers need to be fully awake and engaged, it is now. As surely as the sun rises in the East, Jesus’ return is certain. However, until that day, there is much work to do. Let us face each day with our eyes wide open, clear-minded, faithful, courageous and strong. Armor up, brothers and sisters in Christ. We are in a spiritual battle. Let us bend a knee in faithful prayer, while standing in the gap, defending life and liberty.
May our souls awaken and shine forth the light of Jesus Christ, piercing the darkness with His love and truth.