Last week we spent a few days through in Pittenweem, a fishing village in the ‘Royal Kingdom of Fife’ in Scotland.
It’s very near to mid-summer here in Scotland, and I took the notion to rise early to watch the sunrise. The idea may have been sparked by the fact that some of my friends were on a mission to Tanzania, and were planning a few days holiday on the east coast of Africa, prior to returning home. When we lived in Africa and spent holidays at the east coast I often rose around 6am to watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean, which was always spectacular, but that, was many moons ago!
I suggested to my wife that we could go to St Andrews together to watch the sunrise, but when she heard that sunrise was at 4.47am, she quickly gave me a look that said ‘are you kidding’? That may have finished the matter, but before going to bed I checked the weather forecast and it was saying the following day was going to be ‘blue skies from morning to night’ which is not a regular feature of the weather here. Still I went to bed with no firm intention, but my mind had obviously set an alarm in my head, as I woke at 3am feeling fresh and ready to go! So I ‘quietly’ (still managed to wake the wife!) slipped out of bed, got dressed and took the 30 minute drive over the hill to St Andrews.
I arrived 5 minutes before sunrise, discovered the streets of this busy town deserted and drove to the beach just in time. It was a beautiful morning, the sea was as calm as a millpond, and as the sun arose all the seagulls and other birds burst into a chorus. I had forgotten how beautiful a spectacle this was, the sight and sound of the sea, the smell of the seaweed and the call of the birds and the rising sun reflecting on the water, all combined to touch my heart and soul, and I found myself involuntarily raising a prayer of thanksgiving to the awesome God of creation. I remembered the opening verses of John’s Gospel which speak about Jesus and say, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.’
It was one of these special moments that many people experience on life’s journey!
As a bonus I found it funny to drive around St Andrews, park in all the tourist spots to take pictures, with no other cars around, and no one to bother me, which must be a ‘first’ for St Andrews. Mind you I did see a few other souls here and there enjoying the glorious experience.
As I reflected on the morning I thought, why don’t I do this more often, but I haven’t shared that with Muriel yet 🙂 Later on I thought on a Psalm that speaks of the sunrise and on a sermon I preached on it some years ago – Psalm 19 – take a look!