I am not much of a morning person. I’m one of those people who doesn’t really come to life or respond to questions until I have had my morning cup of coffee and at least a couple of hours to get my head in the game. My wife laughs at me as I stumble around the house with my eyes closed at 6AM looking for my workout gear. I think she should be a little more scared that I am actually sleep walking to my bicycle to go for an early ride on the streets of San Diego.
Despite my distaste for mornings, some of my best experiences and memories have come from those early morning rides. As my senses awake to the smell of the crisp morning marine layer, my mind comes alive with imagery that is only outmatched by the beauty of the place in which I live.
I went on a morning ride this week and left the house a bit earlier than usual. I walked out into the blackness, armed with my reflective sexy spandex clothing, and some flashing lights that would make my cop friends jealous. Occasionally I see some homeless person diving for cover as I ride up on them like Rosco P. Coltrane.
I rode down the local bike path in silence, watching the fog paint the road in front of me in living brush strokes of omniscient white. The birds were not awake to greet me with their song. “Yep, those birds are the smart ones still in bed,” I thought to myself.
As I rode along in the mist, the colors around me slowly turned from grey to shades of green and blue. My sleepy eyes watched the Technicolor landscape get painted in beside me as my legs pedaled along to the rhythm of my breath. The world was coming to life.
I watched as the clouds parted and the first glimpse of morning sun made its way to the road in front of me. I could see Mission Bay to my left, and the water lit up like a shimmering blue prom dress.
I thought about how all of this splendor was masked in the darkness of the night just an hour earlier. I thought about the darkness that we all face every day in this world. The situations and people that try to paint over the color with a black brush. I thought about all the black brush strokes I have personally painted as well. Why is so hard sometimes to see the good in things? Why do I live in the dark spaces so often?
I know that God wants to paint the world with color despite the shadows but sometimes it is easier to hide in the dark. The light however, is inevitable….
I wonder if Christ was a morning person. I read that He often got up early to pray and meditate. I wonder if He hated mornings as much as I do, but also had the most meaningful fellowship before the rays of sun hit the ground. One thing I do know is that His whole life was about fighting back the shadows. Something I need to do more often. Sometimes you just need to wake up early and see those colorful miracles take place to keep it all in perspective.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.