One of the most beneficial and sacred spiritual disciplines I follow is the practice of watching a sunrise. What you can enjoy from early mornings.
When you greet the dawn, you notice something significant.
Yes, sunrise is beautiful, awesome and colourful. No two sunrises are ever the same. The sky is God’s canvas and the colours on the palette are rich. But long before day breaks the first rays of light begin colouring the horizon. The promise of what is to come.
Daybreak affords an opportunity to see God create momentary masterpieces that disappear before most can appreciate them. Rising early isn’t just for the healthy, wealthy, and wise.
If your life lacks beauty, going to bed early so you may greet the dawn is good for your soul.
When you are up with the sun week after week, month after month and year after year, you notice subtle changes. Every morning in the spring the sun moves a little further north. In the fall, the sun inches further south. I notice this viewing the sunrise from my living room window or at our cabin by Sylvan Lake.
In the spring the sun rises a few minutes earlier each day. In autumn the sun sets a few minutes earlier each day.
The days on the calendar take on new meaning. June 21st is the longest day of the year and December 21st is the shortest. Trying as winter conditions can be, the 21st day of the 12th month always signals hope. The days will grow longer. The days will grow warmer. They always grow warmer and longer.
Privilege and Pleasure
Sunrise is for all creation to enjoy. Birds sing. Flowers open. Winds blow. Clouds pass. The world comes back to life. Mark Charles, a Navajo author writes, “The longer I am privileged to see the masterful artistic genius of Creator, and the longer I am blessed to stand in the midst of the grandeur of the masterpiece, the easier it became to acknowledge that neither I, nor all of humankind is in control.” Unsettling Truths, Introduction
We cannot make the sun rise faster. The order of the seasons is beyond our control. The seasons change, grass grows, flowers bloom and birds migrate not because of us. All this is orchestrated by God. The works of art, the daily new beginnings, or the process of ever-changing seasons are ours to enjoy. They are our privilege, and pleasure not our possession.
All our science, discoveries, technology, artificial intelligence, and progress humble us. They are subtle reminders of our limitations.
Try rising early six or five or four mornings a week just before dawn. Yes, you can. Go back to sleep if you must.
Be there to greet the dawn.
Read in one of the Gospels. Or the Psalms.
See if your soul is not the better for it.
Will you start this practice? Please let me know in the comment section. Are you an early riser? What do you see in a sunrise?
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