When I was younger I was such a morning person. I am not talking about when I was a child, I am probably only looking back to when I was in my 20s and 30s. It didn’t seem to matter what time I would go to bed, I always found it easy to get up and get going.
Now it is entirely different!
Now, when my alarm goes off I sometimes look at it, hit snooze, and turn back over for a bit more sleep. Sometimes, it might even turn into 3 rounds of the snooze button and at 10 minutes a time that means an extra half an hour in bed. The problem with this is that it just doesn’t make me feel any more refreshed or any less tired.
What I have learned is this–if we do not own our mornings, then our mornings will own us! And further to that whenever I start my day with God, I am always better prepared for whatever the day may throw my way.
I am very privileged to live on the coast, and there are many mornings when I have now started to get up early and take the dog down to the beach. My dog is 13 years old now, so it is much more of a steady saunter on the sand than anything else more demanding. On these mornings I will take my bible with me, and use the time to read a chapter or two, worship God and pray for what lies ahead that particular day.
I don’t know about you, but I find it so much easier to be alert to God outside than inside.
As I was growing up, in a Christian home, I developed a real love for some of the anthemic hymns. One of the hymns that I love best is ‘O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus’, we don’t sing it that much in church these days, but I do find that as I kneel on the sand, reading the bible and watching the sea come in and go out, I find myself singing this hymn with all my heart. (Iif you have no idea what ‘O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus’ sounds like, you can listen to a really dramatic rendition on YouTube. If you have never, ever belted out a hymn whilst absorbing God’s creation, you may be missing out on what it does to your body, soul and spirit, to your heart, mind and will. It is truly incredible how good I feel and how close to God I can feel too, just in that moment.
I have had one or two people look at me, like I’m a bit weird but then ‘you’ve got to be crazy to follow Jesus, right?’ Well, no, actually, and if you want to know why this is so far from crazy why not order yourself a copy of The Crazy Way booklet and have a read.
Life has the incredible capacity to just rob us of everything that is real. I know from painful experience that when I spend too many mornings in a row pressing the snooze button and rushing into the day without a moment’s thought about what lies ahead, I can quickly become lost, angry and out of control. I lose my true north, I forget that God’s love for me (and for everyone I know or meet) is vast, unmeasured, boundless and free. My world shrinks and the problems, challenges and battles get ever so much bigger.
Yet, when I get up earlier, go to that place where I feel God’s closeness, where I experience his love and belt out a hymn just because I owe him everything, I make my world infinitely larger. I recalibrate my entire being and position myself to be entirely ready for what the day ahead will throw at me. It doesn’t make my life easy, but it does mean I choose to welcome God’s help into my every day experience. And, as we have said before – victory is in the choosing and not in the outcome.