A Different Type of Sunrise Service
So this last weekend, the 2 or so billion Christians in the world celebrated Easter in a lot of different ways. Especially popular in my part of the country – the Bible Belt – is the Sunrise Service.
For those of you that don’t have this particular institution as a part of your religious lexicon, that means getting up a couple of hours before dawn and then going to an outdoor church service celebrating the resurrection of Jesus with the dawning of the new day on Easter Sunday. If you have women in the family, they are still dressed in their Sunday best, just a lot earlier (hence the “couple of hours” before sunrise…).
After that, you are able to get back to your regularly scheduled Sunday or, for the more devout, you go to regular scheduled service and then off to eat a big meal and enjoy some family time watching kids looking for Easter eggs and such.
Most of that isn’t an option for me and with the Old Lady out of town traveling again and most of my regular riding buds relegated to family duty, I decided to go on my own little adventure.
I got up early enough to wake up the chickens, turned the old Sportster southeast, and headed for the beach an hour away.
No, I wasn’t going for an early-morning swim in the Atlantic, I figured I’d see Easter of 2017 start as the day grew out of the Atlantic Ocean.
Now, since I live in the boondocks with plenty of wildlife around, I usually don’t like riding the backroads in the dark since there are plenty of deer and other stuff to get into the road and then give you an opportunity for a brake check (and yes, I have encountered cows in the road one foggy night while jockeying my way home). Nonetheless, I made it to Tybee Island with no drama as the first tendrils of dawn were beginning to show in the eastern sky.
I wish that I could tell you that riding down to the beach to watch the sunrise on Easter Sunday came with some sort of clear sign that I was living right (or wrong), but it didn’t. I saw a few groups of churchgoers seeking the Son that morning, but my sky stayed simply blue with the early Spring sunshine pouring into it. No flaming crosses signifying that life was good or bad greeted me. No angelic voices singing praises and except for a few seagulls protesting my presence, the wind was the only thing I heard.
Whatever I prayed for was heard by the wind and the sky and when it was time to leave and go back home, I can’t tell you that anything had radically changed in my outlook on life, but there on that semi-deserted beach on Easter Sunday, I couldn’t help but think that, for just a few minutes, I had everything I needed and a clear connection to ask for anything I wanted. I shook the sand of my old engineer boots and threw my legs over the seat and as the old Harley motor turned over, with the sun warming my back, I was sure that whatever I needed was going to be there for me.
I hope you get that same feeling every time you get on the bike, too.