The birds are yakking back and forth. Can different species of birds understand each other? The cat pounces determinedly on a leaf. At 11, he suddenly realizes he's too old for that nonsense. He is embarrassed and rolls on the ground.
In a couple of hours our house will be bustling, although we are quiet bustlers. We will be heading out to church with excitement and anticipation. A year ago we went to a church that was like an old shoe: familiar and fairly comfortable but with an underlying unpleasant odor that you couldn't quite get rid of. (If I were to carry the analogy further, I'd go with a story about how the shoes got wet, stored in a hot car trunk, which, when opened, emanated a cloud of noxious gas that left one gasping for breath and seeking gobs of fresh air. But you get the picture.)
After church, we have no plans. We might take an afternoon to relax at home in our air-conditioned house, or we might feel motivated and go to the health club. I might work on lesson plans, or I might take a nap. In the evening we'll go back to church: the kids will go to youth group, and we'll go to small group. Although we already have lots of "old" friends in our new church, we are meeting new people too. Maybe someday some of them will be old friends that we feel like we've known forever.
As the sun gets higher, the traffic increases, and my stomach rumbles, my thoughts are already drifting away from the quiet of the morning. But here is the most important thing, the word that is engraved on my heart, the one that cries from my soul: gratitude. I'd have it tattooed across my forehead and up and down my arms if I weren't terrified of needles.
I don't know why I get this life, but I am infinitely thankful to the One who provides.
7 My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
8 Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
9 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth. (Psalm 57:7-11)