About an hour south of Norman nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains is a quaint community called Davis. It’s main attraction is Falls Creek, the site of the largest summer youth camp in the world. Churches from all over the state own and rent out cabins there to students, ministers and guests looking to get away from life “on the grid” and to reconnect with the Lord.
This weekend I helped sponsor a college retreat at Falls Creek. Joey led worship and did an excellent job leading us in a discussion about time. How we abuse it, are enslaved to it, selfish with it and have manipulated it to serve us.
God’s idea of time, found in the creation account of Genesis, seemed to be simply day and night. Sunrise and sunset.
Naturally, the students went on a sunset hike. I wasn’t able to attend, though I heard it was beautiful. My arm was dangling (numb and tingling) over a pack-n-play for about 30 minutes, rubbing Finn’s back to help him fall asleep in a strange place.
At dawn, Finn and I tagged along with the students for the sunrise hike.
We topped the hill and waited, scanning the expanse below. Fog hovered over the valley like a ghost. A Holy Ghost, I imagined. “…darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2).
We all watched in expectation, waiting for the first sign of morning to appear over the horizon. For the sun, the reliable one, to reveal its glorious head, crowned in light. It came, as it always does. I breathed in deep the crisp air now illuminated by the sun, in awe of its raw beauty.
My middle name is Dawn, after my mom’s pretty younger sister. So I always pay special attention to verses that mention the “dawn.” Several places in Psalms, the psalmist writes that God will “awaken the dawn.” I love the idea of God having to rouse to awakening the morning itself.
I thought of this particular verse as I watched the sunrise Saturday morning:
Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He will do it. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:5,6)
All my mundane, everyday moments and my grandiose life-shaping moments blend together to project His light into a darkened world…as surely and as poetically as the dawn swept radiance into the foggy valley below, transforming it into something beautiful.