School mornings were about to get a great deal more stressful. A week after I committed to driving my daughter to and from school every day she excitedly informed me that she had gotten a place in not just one, but two ensemble choirs. My excitement was dulled when I realized this meant our drive on three school mornings would be an hour earlier than usual for rehearsals. Neither of us are morning people and another Cleveland winter was looming around the corner. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I can do all things with Christ’s help, even dreadful things. And God certainly had a surprise waiting for me!
He did not miraculously transform us into easy to awaken, cheerful lovers of morning. Nor did He do away with the before school stressors. He simply does what He has been doing every morning… commanding the sun to rise. The route I drive to and from my daughter’s school offers me a breathtaking view of the sun rising above the darkened outline of trees. On our way to school we catch the first hints of light and color through the rearview mirrors, but on my trip back home I am driving straight into the sunrise.
I am convinced that God is the Source and Master Artist of all that is Good, True, and Beautiful. As an aspiring artist myself, I look to Him for inspiration and instruction. My morning drive and frequent walks with the dog have me often gazing upward and reflecting on God’s constantly changing canvas of the sky. Moment by moment His creativity is flowing – adding brushstrokes of color or a sudden burst of light that then casts a surprising shadow, blowing on the clouds changing their shape or position and even making them disappear altogether. This tiny piece of sky above me, a work of art in and of itself, is merely a fraction of the entire canvas. God’s sky blue primed canvas stretches around the world! In every place and every moment, He is offering each of us a glimpse of the heavens and the creative power of our Divine Artist. The sky is an artistic masterpiece for us to admire and reflect upon, free of charge, if we just step out the door and look upward.
This is mindfulness! God has given me the “power of a sound mind” and asks me to “take captive every thought” so that in all things I may give Him glory. When I breathe in the beauty of the rising sun on my early morning drive, I deliberately choose to shift my awareness from my chaotic thoughts about the day ahead to the ever-present canvas of God above me. My Lord is a gift-giving God… in choosing mindfulness I graciously and with gratitude receive the gifts He offers in every moment, in every detail, of my life and my world.