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.

Beauty

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.

Subtle Changes

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.

Rise Early

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.

Pray.

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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Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 42 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

4 Comments

  • Julie MacKenzie says:

    I loved the blog this morning Pastor Bob. I get up between 4;30 – 5:00 am every morning. It’s hormonal…I used to be a “night-hawk”. I realized I couldn’t continue to be that way & not get any sleep. I don’t function without sleep. So, in this chapter of my life…I have turned “lemons into lemonade”, & grown to accept the reality of waking up so early. (even if I don’t like it sometimes..LOL!) I certainly get alot done before the sun rises…but, I can also enjoy it’s spectacular colors. I have gratitude every day, that I wake up for another day. The other option is not so great. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. In the last 18 months…I have experienced that personally with a couple of people that I know. They lost their sons in tragic ways. My best friend lost her son in that avalanche in Jasper National Park & my neighbor lost their son in a workplace accident. Both men in their 20’s. It was certainly a huge wake-up call. Even the young are not invincible. So, while I’m cruising towards 60 next month…I never take life for granted. I watch the sunrise & thank God that I am alive & have good health. No one has money to buy health. (Even the richest people cannot buy that). Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I look forward to it every week. 🙂

  • Adena Lowry says:

    I always look forward to the winter solstice. So much hope on that day. It’s a beautiful event to celebrate.
    It’s more than just the beauty of the colours of the sunrise, but the way the light shines on those colours that changes my soul and helps me to see life in a new way.

  • Bob Jones says:

    So good to hear from you Julie and being up EARLY everyday. You get to appreciate each day from a perspective most people don’t see. My best time of day is early in the morning. So when the REVwords email comes out at 5am you are already up and going. You are probably our FIRST follower each week! Sorry to hear about your friends and their losses and your grief for them. We have gone through so many deep experiences in the past 18 months. I’m glad you turned lemons into lemonade. Love that thought!

  • Bob Jones says:

    Always happy to hear from a fellow lover of the dawn. I’ve grown to appreciate the predawn. First light comes up an hour ahead of the dawn. I think there is something about hope in the first light. And I’m thankful to live in a place where all four seasons are deep and unique. Not sure how I’d do in a tropical place. (But I wouldn’t mind finding out.)

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