As an outdoorsman there are many things within the world of the out of doors that fill my soul like few other things can. Flickering flames casting across the faces of your companions. The flocks of waterfowl announcing their arrival to a statue still lake; or the thunder of a gobbler through southern hardwoods. These moments and many others bring me closer to my creator than just about anything.

            But of all the things in the outdoors, I love sunrises the best. The sunrise offers a new beginning. It brings a hint of a future of all things possible. It promises that yesterday is gone – with its joys and sorrows, and today is new. Sunrises are best when shared, but can be glorious when alone. A man who can enjoy being alone, is a man who knows who he is and where he is going. Admiring a sunrise alone is a glorious thing to be savored.

            Recently I stood alone along a large farm pond as the sun cast its first light onto the new day. Thin layers of ice cascaded across the pond; interrupted by stumps from long forgotten trees and the occasional lily pad that had yet succumbed to the cold of the winter. The ice caught the rays and glistened with grander as they hung on for a few last minutes. The mist from the pond was as thick as smoke as it drifted into the brightening day.

            I stood in awe at this marvelous new sunrise and gave thanks for the beautiful moment I was thrilled to witness.      

            Yes, it is in the moments of sunrise that I feel closest to my creator. As Christmas draws near and the hustle and bustle of the season seems to drown all meaning from this holy day. I am taken back to the sunrise and I remember why this season is so meaningful to me and my loved ones.

            We pause to reflect at this time of year. We reflect on the year that was, and give thanks for all of the big moments that brought smiles to our faces, accomplishments that were made and we remember with solace the moments that broke our hearts. Few years pass by anymore without some heartache for which there is no explanation, save the reality of it all. Through all of this, I am brought back to the sunrise. It offers hope; the sunrise offers a sense of peace.  It offers a new beginning, a freshness of all things possible; of all things we are and can be. So my reflections are not of what was but of things to come.

 As the sunrise ushers in a new day – the Christmas season ushers in a new year. Just as Joseph and Mary looked at their child and gave praise for their new beginning. I too offer praise for my new beginning, my new year as I celebrate with them, the “son” rise – God becoming man so I could have peace, hope and a future to enjoy and embrace.

            Yes, I embrace the sunrise. I embrace the hope, the fresh start if offers and the grace I am given to have the opportunity to witness again the creation of a new day and a new life that all began with the son of God coming to cast his glory on all of creation.