Dawn Chorus

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”  ~ Rabindranath Tagore
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     God has been speaking to me of dawn lately. A lot. Songs, Scripture, random references all talk about the dawn, everywhere I turn.
     I hear you, Lord. Something is about to break forth. I can’t see it yet, but I can perceive it.
     I feel an excitement for the arrival of I-don’t-know-what. Yet.
     But why warn me? Why fill me with anticipation of the light when the world is still dark?
     The answer is in something else God has been doing to get my attention. He has been waking me at dawn. Or rather, just before.
     If you’ve ever had the privilege, or maybe frustration, of waking up in the wee hours before the break of dawn in the spring and summer months, you will have heard it. It begins roughly half an hour (give or take) before the first sign of light. Scientists have named it the dawn chorus.
     The sleepy silence of night is broken by the loudest, clearest, most beautiful chorus of birds, coming from all around. At no point in the day do they sing as loudly and beautifully as during their introduction to the dawn.
     Scientists aren’t exactly certain as to the ‘why’ behind the chorus. Some theories involve males trying to find a mate, and believe perhaps putting so much effort into song before the dawn is a sign that they are strong – having survived the night with enough energy leftover to sing even before they’ve eaten.
     Another theory is that when it’s too dark to do their daily work of foraging and survival yet, they might as well put all their effort into their best song of the day.
     It is believed they begin their song before the dawn breaks, because they perceive the light before it can actually be seen. They have an extra sense built into them that tells them the sun is coming, even though there is no sign of it yet. It’s as if faith has been given to them as an instinct.
     I think we have been given that instinct, too. But when we get out of rhythm and out of focus with our Creator, it’s too easy for us to ignore it.
     What if we gained that sense back again? What if we spent enough time listening to our Creator? To the rhythms of His creation? The flapping of a birds wings? Its song? The wind in the trees? The water running over the rocks? What if we stopped to watch a butterfly flit between the flowers on a lilac bush?
     What if we closed our eyes and asked God to share His heart with us?
     What would He reveal?
     Perhaps, He would whisper that the dawn is about to break.
     Do you perceive it?
     So don’t worry that it’s still night. Trust Him, and start singing now.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
~ Isaiah 60:1
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