“Morning—the very word itself is like a cluster of luscious grapes to crush into sacred wine for me to drink. In the morning! This is when God wants me at my best in strength and hope so that I may begin my daily climb, not in weakness but in strength. Last night I buried yesterday’s fatigue, and this morning I took on a new supply of energy. Blessed is the day when the morning is sanctified—set apart to God! Successful is the day when the first victory is won in prayer! Holy is the day when the dawn finds me on the mountaintop with God!” (L.B.Cowman)
If your reaction to that reading is “Amen Sista!”, you are what we call a “morning person.” If, on the other hand, that reading (if you can even see it clearly through the sleepiness lingering in your fuzzy eyes) makes you feel slightly nauseous and possibly even guilty that you don’t share those sentiments, you are what we call “not a morning person”. You know who you are, one way or another.
Recently, my husband told me he read an article that the most successful people get up at approximately 4:30am everyday. I have many thoughts on that, but I will keep them to myself.
My daughter is one of those “not a morning person” people. She is 15 and until this year, she would emerge from her bedroom each morning with her “blankie” over her head. She would leave enough of a hole for her to see through as she poured her cereal and headed back to her room and shut the door.
Perhaps some of you are like my oldest son, who shares Ryan Howard’s (from the “Office” TV show) thoughts on being outside at the crack of dawn with his co-workers: “Ever since I’ve gotten clean, there’s something about fresh morning air… that just really makes me sick.”
So, you might be wondering what I am…or not. Well, I am going to tell you anyway…
I am both. Or neither. However you want to look at it. I really really HATE the initial getting out of bed. I immediately start fantasizing about when I can get back in bed or take a nap later that day. I make coffee, stagger to the couch and pick up my books that I read to get my day started. Much of the time I don’t really feel like reading or thinking or praying. But I do it anyway. Not because I am super-spiritual, because I am certainly not. More likely, it is because I am a broken, selfish, scatter-brained girl whose only hope is to at least start off on the right foot. Sadly, by the time I head out the door I have put much of what I read in the past and moved on without even considering what I learned that morning. It’s a problem, really.
For years and years I was rigid about this practice. And if I missed a day—look out! The guilt and disappointment in myself went wild. I was missing the whole point. And what is that point, you might be asking? The point is not to check it off your list or be able to present a perfect attendance record before God or others for approval; the point is to “give God the fresh blossom of the day. Never make Him wait until the petals have faded.”
When I begin my day reflecting on the blessings, the fears, the stresses, the failures and the anticipation of the day ahead, and then turn them over to God first thing (in the morning), I have a fighting chance of living in some sort of serenity.
It’s so much better than waiting until all hell has broken loose and I feel like I am going to lose my mind. By then it’s almost too late. Or at least much harder to recover from. Starting my day with God is like preventative care for my soul.
So even when every fiber of my being wants to just lay down on the couch and go back to sleep—I read. I pray. I prepare for what is to come. I don’t know about your life, but my life is hard everyday. Not because of circumstances, but because it’s just plain hard to live in this world with serenity and joy and with a mindfulness of God’s ways over my ways.
At the very least, maybe start by acknowledging God while your head’s on your pillow. Start your day at least pointed in His general direction. See how it goes…