My new friend Rachel reminds me of the beauty in the sunrise.
“To love beauty is to see light.” -Victor Hugo
What is the first thing you look for in the morning?
Reaching to hit snooze on an alarm likely ranks high on your list. Perhaps followed by reaching for that cell phone, grasping for those glasses, grabbing that robe, and stumbling into the kitchen for a coffee filter. All worthwhile things to seek in the morning.
Two weeks ago, though, I met a woman who reminded me not only of the importance of seeking what truly matters most, but also the power of sharing it with others.
The conversation occurred at a book signing. Earlier that day I’d spoken to Dot Foods reminding them of the dignity of their work, the value of their lives and the power within them to influence positive change.
Afterwards there was a book signing. Typically, the conversations after my presentations begin with people fist bumping me or hugging me, introducing themselves by name and sharing a bit of their story. But one of the leaders from this event skipped the typical pleasantries and jumped right into it.
“I saw it this morning, too!” she said.
“Hi, I’m John. What did you see this morning?” I asked.
She introduced herself as Rachel and reminded me that in the session I asked how many people had seen the sunrise that morning. In a room with more than a thousand people, only a smattering of hands raised. (Although to be fair, they had enjoyed a company party the evening before that stretched late into the night so I was just relieved the majority actually made it into the morning session!)
Then, as further proof she was serious, Rachel pulled up on her phone the picture she’d taken that morning. She showed me the picture of the sun rising over the Mississippi River and kissing off the St. Louis Arch. The light transformed the typical greyish steel colors of the Arch with brilliant hues of yellows and oranges. It was a magnificent picture.
After congratulating her on capturing it, I asked, “What’s the chance you would actually be there right on time to see the sunrise and capture such a magnificent picture?”
Rachel replied matter-of-factly, “Pretty good, actually. You see, every morning of my life I look for the beauty of the new day. As the sun rises, I capture it in a photo and then share it with others. I realize not everyone is as lucky as I am to be up and moving early enough to see the best part of the day.”
With that, Rachel started swiping through pictures on her phone. Picture after picture revealing the stunning beauty of a sunrise. Fields lit up off a highway, warm light cascading off concrete buildings, light creeping over the horizon and igniting an ocean. Each photograph more stunning than the next.
“Gosh Rachel, these are amazing. Are you a photographer?”
“No. I drive a trash truck for a living. But really, I seek to see beauty and share it with others who may not have noticed it otherwise.”
My friends, as we arise each morning, what we seek, we will find. I’m not saying you can’t occasionally hit snooze, find the cell phone, grab the robe or make the coffee. I’m instead suggesting that once you do, keep the television off and don’t scroll.
Instead, walk outside and look east. In the midst of a busy world with many reminding us daily how cynical, negative and bad everything is, see a radically different perspective. Watch as the light cuts through the darkness, observe as the clouds above are ignited with warm colors, witness as shadows fade and the beauty of new day reveals itself for those who seek it.
It may not change the challenges of the life you lead, the work you do or the world in which you live. It will, however, remind you that God is still God, the darkness doesn’t win and the best is yet to come.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Rachel.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.