Saturday, January 21, 2012


My favorite time of day is dawn, especially if I happen to catch a magnificently colorful event. I feel privileged, as if I were among the few to see such splendor.

The beautiful striations and remarkable depth of those sunrises are caused by clouds. They create the show, or rather, the sun around and through them. It has something to do with contrast—light and dark—and the glory lasts only a few minutes. This time of year in winter-wrapped Colorado, the magic moment occurs between quarter to seven and seven.

On mornings that break clear and pristine, the sun merely opens its golden eye upon the land and the horizon brightens. It’s beautiful, yes. An ongoing reminder of God’s faithfulness, but without the pyrotechnic explosion of red and pink and orange.

It doesn’t take my breath away.

I’m disappointed if morning comes to a cloudless sky because I know there won’t be a show. But that’s not the way I view my life. I want no clouds or storms in my daily existence. No show, thank you very much. Just give me easy, calm, windless life … even if the clouds and storms are the very things that magnify the power and light of the Son.

Forgive me, Lord. Shine through the dimensions of my life and display the glory of your power.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Getting from here to there

“Transition” is not one of my favorite words. It implies hard work, change, letting go of the familiar and heading into the unknown. It takes a person from what was to what will be and often involves pain. Biological mothers everywhere know exactly what I’m talking about.

So do daddies watching daughters glide down the aisle in white dresses, and employees leaving the nest of comfort on the wings of promotion. Transition is everywhere.

As a writer working on a fiction manuscript, I face it in nearly every scene. How does Fernando get from his Ford and into his front room? How does Paula get from dinners for one to picnics in the park? Transition.

And how do last month’s holiday cookie-eaters get from their sweatpants back into their dress pants? They call my son Jake.

Jake is a personal trainer who helps people change. He teaches them how to get from pudgy to perfect, and even uses special exercises called—you guessed it—transitional exercises.

For example, if a client is working muscle set A, and wants to move to muscle set B, Jake takes him from an exercise for set A, into an exercise that uses both set A and B, and then into one that uses only set B. Sounds logical, but it’s hard work.

We can’t get away from transition, and we shouldn’t want to. The push from here to there keeps us moving forward. It squeezes life out of boney winter branches into green spring buds, and builds strength into the flabby muscles of winter revelers.

Transition challenges us, even as we trade in an old, marked-up calendar for a nice new clean one.

Some people worry that 2012 will be the last page in mankind’s datebook. If it is, fine. If not, great. My life doesn’t hang on a round Mayan rock with no room for the future; it hangs on the cross of Jesus Christ who said He’d never let me out of His hand.

Transition is not easy, but we have Someone who promised to get us through it. As we take those first steps into 2012, let’s look to the God who knows what’s coming, and trust Him to take care of us along the way.

Behold, I make all things new. —Rev. 21:5 (NKJ)