Friday, October 28, 2016

Sunrise time lapse

A rare spectacle! Rare for me since I haven't been rising early these late October mornings. Rare because I confess that I haven't been walking faithfully for exercise while pushing self-imposed, almost unrealistic writing deadlines. Rare because it was a break in the rainy weather—but I made it this morning. We had a frost warning lately so I grabbed my winter coat and set off.

I was suddenly stopped in my tracks by an encounter unfolding in the sky. I stood in the middle of our country road and silently watched a spectacular drama. The sky had been overcast but all of a sudden first a pink then a deep ruddy glow appeared in the Eastern horizon. The sun peaked over the treetops, seemed to hesitate a moment, then the entire skyscape burst into a blush wine.

I turned around to the West toward the still shadowy dark Blue Ridge mountains which took but a moment to glow cherry-red in reflection of the rising sun. The entire mountain just as quickly was painted in carmine, then blood-red, then brilliant flame-red as I held my breath. Almost before I could take in the magnificent scene, the drama of the mountain began to dropped back into lavender then darkened into violet. Suddenly the whole mountain was clothed in deep purple, then reverted to shadowy black.

It all happened in a passing moment as the sun climbed higher but suddenly changed its mind deciding that today was a day to stay hidden behind the clouds. Then it disappeared. But of course the sun kept brilliantly shining, only not visible to me. The wind whipped up scattering dry, lifeless autumn leaves around me. I pulled up my collar and shivered.

The picture above doesn't do justice to God's real thing. Everything happened so fast and I was so mesmerized that I didn't give a thought to try capturing any of the drama on my smart phone camera. No camera lens or artist's brush would be adequate anyway.

The dramatic episode over, the mountain was back to unremarkable, murky, drab, somber. Did I dream the brilliant scene I had momentarily viewed? I kept standing, transfixed by what had transpired. I would never have anticipated that I would have such an encounter with nature when I set out in the semi-darkness of pre-dawn.

Was there meaning here to be understood? I believe there is nothing without meaning as we pass moment by moment through life. Was there some connection here to something else? Was there something meant just for me at this point in my life, in my day?

My thoughts went to my most recent manuscript spread all over my kitchen table in its final proof before my son Rick, my professional producer, would print out the pages in a camera-ready format to be sent to the publisher to schedule for the printing press. The title? *SELAH REFLECTIONS: Press the PAUSE Button. Was God demonstrating to me what that mysterious term “Selah” means, although biblical scholars are still not certain what its 71 times repetition in the Psalms is really all about? I settled on a composite definition and wrote my book around that thought: “be silent, think about, ponder over, meditate on, roll it over in your mind and spirit.”

What did my mountain spectacular drama mean? GOD WAS WHISPERING “SELAH” TO ME this morning! There are many Selah moments throughout my days if my heart and mind are open to recognize them. If I whisper back to God, “I notice! I notice!” If I take the time in my hurried, feverish, deadline oriented life to Press the PAUSE button. Only then am I able to hear God's voice, if I invite Him, “Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.”

This morning's demonstration? “The heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” Psalm 19:1. Yes, King David the Psalmist, you probably marveled at the same sight and paused to praise God, as I do. Yes, Selah, Selah! You, Lord, are the same yesterday, today, and forever! You paint our sky today as You did in ages past from Your creation of the world. That's something to Selah! about!

*Note: This new book soon to be on the press, along with several others newly off the press, are due to be released before Christmas, Lord willing. Thank God, I'm meeting my self-deadlines with the prayer help of my “Praying Eagles.”

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