Every morning, I drive into the sunrise.
I check out my truck and pack up my laptop, then I load everything up for the hour-long drive into the Yuma outback to the test site. I plug my aux cable into my phone and into the port on the dashboard.
I select my Alaska playlist for the drive (it’s a collection of 117 songs I compiled for my TDY assignment early this year, and consists mainly of “current” praise and worship songs that stir something in me, or just plain sound good), and head out.
The sun is bright and glaring on my dirty windshield, but I’m driving slowly enough that if I came across a deer or horse in my travels, it would probably just glare at me and move on. Nothing stays clean out here.
I ride the YPG redline at 45 mph, and just before CSFR, two deer do cross my path, and they are practically flying, hooves dancing over the pavement and into the creosote bushes.
The road down range is long and straight, and as I head east I have plenty of time to think, and listen to music, and sing and pray and wonder why I’m not more grateful to be alive, and free, and employed.
I’m thinking about the kids today, and it occurs to me that it is possible to be crushed by love for something. They’re sleeping as I drive, and I realize there is no length to which I would not go for them. I would die for them. I would kill for them.
I think then about John 3:16, and wonder what that decision would have been like. Here, take my son. That’s how much I love you.
I can’t imagine that.
The sun is a kaleidoscope on my windshield, and I wonder about showing that example to my kids. How do I speak to them of spotless lambs and ultimate sacrifices when I don’t even want to give up a parking spot?
The music is all around me, and I begin to note lyrics:
empty handed but alive in your hands
wake up, child, it’s your turn to shine, you were born,for such a time as this
if I had no voice, if I had no tongue, I would dance for you like the rising sun
My tires hit the dirt and I slow down. I think about my wife and for the second time in less than thirty minutes I am crushed by love, and filled with amazement and wonder that this woman loves a hairy and broken beast like me.
And then I think about God, and am crushed by his love for me, too, but I’m also lifted up by it. My flaws are many, my faith and discipleship often weak. Over all that spread the strong hands of the carpenter, and his love is a vast blanket that covers them all.
As I turn onto KLM and draw nearer to the test site, Cuan Grande Es Dios comes on, and I almost have to pull over. I wonder if it’s like this for everyone?
I pull through the gate just as the song segues into a line from the chorus of How Great Thou Art. I think what a great arrangement it is, and then Monday yanks open the door of my truck and it’s time to work.