Originally posted on The Word Wranglers Writing Group 2002

    The insistent buzz of an alarm clock shatters the stillness. It’s still dark outside. I long to burrow back into my warm cocoon, but the little drill sergeant inside my head is already nagging. “Get up. Get up. Get up. Hurry, hurry, hurry. No time to waste. Get ready for work.”

     Running on automatic, I sleep-walk to the kitchen, and put a kettle of water on the stove. Instant coffee to jolt me awake, instant oatmeal to fill my stomach, some leftovers from the ‘fridge to microwave for lunch. Follow the routine, no time to think. “Hurry, hurry, hurry.”

     Shower and dress, out the door. Grab the squeegee to clear off the windows. Out of the driveway and into the dark street. “Hurry, hurry, hurry.”      The still-nagging drill sergeant is joined by the robot from Lost in Space, arms flailing, crying “Danger, danger. Watch out for pedestrians.” Joggers and dog walkers, high school students headed for school: nearly invisible in the drizzly dark, they step in front of my car without warning or insist on walking in the street instead of on the sidewalk.

     “Danger, danger.” “Hurry, hurry.” Oh, good. The light’s green. No, don’t change. Too late. Wait, wait, wait. Come on, turn green. I’m in a hurry.

     Only two more lights to the freeway. Here’s the ramp. Move, bus, let me through. Someone let me on, please. “Hurry, hurry, hurry.” “Danger, danger. Look out for that truck.”

     If I can just move over one lane I’ll be okay for a while. This one disappears soon. There. I’m in a safe slot and moving with traffic. Time to relax a little. Sit back and enjoy the scenery.

     What scenery? Gray road, gray fog-filled trees, gray mountains, gray clouds. Oh, but look. The clouds are getting lighter and there’s a strip of blue opening above the mountains.

     Suddenly the sky lights up. The clouds turn wondrous colors, shades of purple and hot pink that gradually transmute to gold. A pulsing molten ball appears over the mountain ridge. The autumn trees come ablaze in a symphony of color. No wonder the ancient Hebrews called the dawn “trumpets in the morning.” A visual fanfare, food for the soul.

     If this event took place once in a decade in some remote corner of the earth, people would save for years to make the trip and experience it just once in a lifetime. They would try in vain to describe the experience to their friends. They would speak of it for years to their children and grandchildren, and treasure it in their hearts forever.

     But God’s spectacular light show, in all its infinite variations, is presented world-wide, twice a day. It is available to all and completely free. As available and free as God’s grace.