School holidays is now upon us and minutes after my class was dismissed on the last day of term, I was busy packing up my desk and classroom to head down south with my family. Sometimes the best holidays are just the ones where you just get to rest, reflect and stand in awe of God’s wonders. This holiday away from home may have been a short one, but thankfully, it was one where rest, relaxation and reflection filled most of my time.
The morning of my birthday we rose early and walked up the headland to watch the sunrise. This is something I haven’t done in a very, very long time. Given that we are currently in the middle of winter, it was certainly crisp and cold. The dewy and slightly frosted grass seemed to penetrate through to our toes as we climbed the beautiful, green headland up above the beach in the dim light. At the top, the view was spectacular and the skies changed so rapidly I struggled to take enough photos to adequately capture the moment. Then I realised I probably had to spend some of that time just being in the moment.
Standing in awe of God’s creation is something we hardly have time for in our busy world, and as teachers we may find it even harder to slow down and breathe due to the ever-increasing demands upon our time. Even now, on my holidays, I know there is a huge list of to-dos waiting for me, many of which I will struggle to complete by the end of the term break. Yet I cannot allow this thought to overwhelm me and ruin what time I do have left to spend with my family. Every moment in this life is precious. And every moment is fleeting. Just like the sunrise that swiftly turned into daylight, so too do our days slip away into weeks, months and years. If we don’t stop to stand in awe, we will look back and regret, rather than look back and celebrate the moments that were.
In that sunrise moment, there were thousands of colours. There was the cold damp beneath our feet and the wedge of swans flying through the golden glow of the sun. There were the pinks and purples flickering off the waves as they rippled towards the water’s edge. It was as if the breath of God had settled above the waters as the waves gently crashed onto the rocks and sand. Our silhouettes against the light spoke powerfully of our small place in such a magnificent world. To imagine, that Adam and Eve really did have it all. To find a touch of Eden despite the brokenness that exists today, just might be the thing that brings us through the brokenness.
Psalm 65:8 (NLT) says,
Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.
We cannot stand in awe if we do not choose to stop and be still long enough to notice the gifts God gives us every day. Why is it that the sunrise is such a beautiful thing that happens every single day? Perhaps God knows, for those who are willing to rise with it, that it will inspire enough joy to equip us to make it through our day, no matter what that day may bring.
No matter what our days may bring, it is important to teach our kids to stop and look for the wonder and awe in life and in creation. For it is in those moments, the wonder and awe moments, that we can be refreshed, revived and ready to do His will once more. What better way to let that light come flooding in, than by the rays of the sunrise, which by His grace, can be freely found each morning… no matter who you are, no matter where you are.