Joy in the Morning
Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good? O taste and see that the Lord is good. – Psalm 34:12 & 8a (NRSV)
The sounds of rain on the pavement and wind through the trees outside my window wake me up. The sun is content to bide its time this morning, waiting for the clouds to pass, which is pretty much how I feel as I draw the bedcovers closer.
The covers make the day good.
So does the pouring rain.
So does the hidden sun.
Waking up is my favorite part of the day these days, although it used to be my least favorite. With the constant hum of bad news, the brutal inclination of humanity toward violence, the inevitability of my own personal failures, and a “to do” list that seemed to stretch to the Second Coming, it used to be that greeting each new day with gratitude—let alone joy—was a stretch for my spirit. Calling a new day “good” before it even had a chance to let both shoes drop was premature, from my spirit’s perspective.
But since all those trying and terrible things weren’t likely to change any time soon—aren’t likely to change any time soon—I’ve taken to unabashedly coveting goodness first thing in the morning: Filling my lungs with the sweet scent of rain that is not mine. Savoring my heart’s desire for the sun, although its light is not within my control. Delighting in the warmth that I ache to leave and already yearn to return to. Hungering in my spirit for the goodness of God that I cannot hold or keep or command.
I taste the morning with brazen pleasure, as if life is a rare find rather than a daily rhythm. And every morning, it is good.
My mouth is full of praise and my heart shivers with delight in your goodness, O God.
Rachel Hackenberg serves on the national staff for the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Writing to God and the co-author of Denial Is My Spiritual Practice, among other titles. Her blog is Faith and Water.