Encourager of the Morning

This morning I was slow to rise. The activities of the prior day left me feeling fatigued. The typical "open my eyes, give thanks for another day, and go" escape me this morning. I long for just a bit more sleep. My schedule tells me slumber must wait until another time. I rise and carry on my morning routine slowly, oh so slowly. The tea kettle whistles and begs my attention so I pour my morning cup full and make my way to the cushion. I begin my morning devotional time with these words from "Fragments of Your Ancient Name" by Joyce Rupp:

Encourager of the Morning
The yawns, groans, and stretches
That come with the first awakening, reflect the mornings of my spirit.
Then too, I slowly become alert to what requires my attentiveness.
You gently approach my drowsy self like a mother stirring her child awake
Calling me from my sleep of indifference, insisting on my rising to your presence
And attentively greeting my inner light.
Today: I awaken to what sleeps in me.

As I read the first line, I laugh aloud! Yes, this day awakening comes with yawns and groans for this is truly a reflection, as unusual as it is for me, a reflection of my morning spirit. When I read the final line, I sit in the deep morning silence and ponder what is asleep in me that wishes to awaken.

On this morning, I awaken to the idea of surrender. The word itself stirs many feelings within me. When I consider the definitions of surrender (to quit, to succumb, to be overcome) none sit well or ring true for me. I resist them all until I come to the meaning of the word "yield". This is a word I can soften to.

So, I sit a while with the word and I imagine eggs and milk yielding to flour that make a beautiful and delicious cake. I think of the leaves of the fall trees that yield to the winds of winter as they tumble to the ground. I think of my sleepy little grandchildren that finally yield to the comforts of sleep.

It is in the yielding of the identity of remaining the same that beautiful things come forth. It is in the yielding that evolution of season and evolution of self can occur. It is in the yielding to sleep that rest and renewal of energy comes to the exhausted toddler.

On this morning it is the idea of surrender that awakens within me. Remaining fully committed to the "never give up" attitude that sustained me as a single parent of three, and propelled me forward more often than I care to remember through the eight years to become an ordained minister, I yield.

Today I yield to being in the space of unknowing. I yield to the discomfort of not knowing the answers to questions of the "why" of the world. I yield to the mystery of what will be known in its own time, yet today remains shrouded in unknowing.

As I yield, there is a shift within every cell of my being that allows my body and my mind to relax into acknowledgment and the contentment of what is. I become at ease in appreciating the feeling of fullness that permeates this morning. it is in the relaxing of self and yielding to the goodness and greatness of the Divine that I realize the completeness of life. it is in yielding to the path and process of divine order that the unknown becomes known.

As I yield, even in times that are uneasy or uncomfortable, I can take heart, knowing that the universe conspires for my good. As l reflect upon my life thus far, there is an enormous stockpile of evidence to support this thought. Today I awaken to what sleeps in me.