1. Don't be angry that you are awake to see the sun rise.
Frustration over being awake earlier than you intended will definitely inhibit the sunrise enjoyment experience. (Some have reported being completely robbed of said moment due to frustration.) Didn't intend to wake up? Grab a cup of coffee or tea and make the most of this "gift". You may be surprised at just how awesome and refreshing the moment truly is.
2. Purposely scan the horizon from left to right; then from right to left. Now Repeat.
Focusing on one small spot will cause you to totally short-change the majesty of the moment. A sunrise is much like life and must be taken in as a whole. Focusing on only one part can result in dissatisfaction and loss of perspective. (Did you catch the "sermon" app there? Smile.)
3. Choose to SEE the sun rising.
Some mornings I wake while it's still dark. I get all settled in my soft prayer chair with a quilt, a cup of coffee, Bible, journal......and I just don't want to disturb myself because I'm comfortable. We miss some amazing things when comfort becomes our major objective. (Yep, another sermon app. This post is full of them; it's an occupational hazard.)
4. Sunrises are best enjoyed when shared.
I love the stillness that comes with a sunrise; no words are required or sufficient really. I can enjoy the richness all by myself. But when Frank comes out and quietly takes my hand or just sits nearby, a connection takes place that can't be easily explained. We are not meant to experience life alone. Invest in friendship.
5. Mark the incredible variety of colors.
This morning I was treated to: pink, purple, salmon, several blues, a touch of orange and even a momentary streak of red. Marvelous, indeed! Mom often said "Variety is the spice of life." And she usually said it when things were difficult. Hmmm. Diversity is intended to be a blessing, not a curse. Embrace the wonder of each new day being different from all the rest.
6. Don't be sad when the colors disappear; remind yourself that they will reappear tomorrow.
I know some people who literally prefer not to experience anything that's too "wonderful" because they don't want to experience the equal but opposite emotions of "sadness". Totally missing the point! When the season changes, when the babies grow up, when the flower wilts, when the event is over, it's okay. There will be more joy for tomorrow. It won't be exactly the same as today but there will be joy. (Refer back to #5 - variety.)
7. Finally, pay attention to the sheer magnitude of those colors.
The sunrise starts small, just over my neighbor's fence top. (Sometimes I can't wait for it to become visible over her fence, so I stand for the entire performance.) Within just a few moments, the entire eastern half of the sky is awash with magnificent hues. It's like God started with a small paint brush and became so delighted with the effect that He had to reach for a roller or His heart would surely burst. Against the powerful backdrop of that display, my own life seems more manageable. He is God and I am not. Selah.
I've been enjoying sunrises most of my adult life. They always stir me, encourage and nudge me. They remind me that "His mercies are new every morning" and that I should "rise early to praise Him". They offer perspective, balance and a copious quantity of challenge. Where else can you get all that - every single day - in every single corner of the world - for FREE?!!
God, You are incredible! Thank You!