“I still can’t wait to get my pants on in the morning,” says three-time Pulitzer Prize winning American Journalist, Thomas Friedman. Does this describe you? Or are you the person that wishes morning happened at noon? Been there!
Perhaps you are more like American writer, Nicholas Baker, who stated in an interview with Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work: “The mind is newly cleansed but it’s also befuddled and you’re still just plain sleepy.” But Baker didn’t let the sleepiness stop him. He continued, “I found that I wrote differently then.” Currey continues to describe Baker liking “sleepy writing” so much that Baker developed a strategy to squeeze two mornings out of one day: “He will get up around 4 or 4:30 a.m. and write for an hour and a half—but then he goes back to sleep until 8:30 and gets up again, this time turning his attention to ‘daylight kind of work,’ like transcribing an interview or editing what he wrote during the first morning session.” That’s one way to become a morning person!
I am not on a mission to make (or guilt) people into becoming morning people. But I do hope to inspire you not to just become a morning person, but a person with a morning ritual. A morning ritual prepares you emotionally and mentally for whatever comes that day. Since my twenties I have been a morning person (although admittedly, many days not by choice). I grew to love morning. In the pre-dawn hours, before the pressures and episodes of the day take their toll, there’s the steam of my coffee, the feel of my Bible, the smell of ink and notebook paper, the sound of a big wall-clock ticking away (that at times makes me ultra-drowsy), and most of all peace and quiet within and without. Magical.
Not only does an early morning ritual prepare you for the day, but provides space and calm for your soul to meet with God. That’s my motive here. I hope you don’t have just any morning ritual, but a morning “ritual” to meet with God.
God promises His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24).** That means we don’t have to live on yesterday’s mercies, or strength, or resources. Don’t you want to taste those mercies and truths not as leftovers at the end of the day, but when God provides them fresh for the tasting and strengthening—in the morning? As an aside, do you know that throughout Scripture key encounters with God and direction from God seem to always happen in the “early morning”? (Genesis 20:8; Genesis 22:3; Exodus 9:13; Joshua 6:12; 1 Samuel 17:20; Mark 1:35; Psalm 5:3). That’s something to think about.
How can you become more of a morning person? Change your dread of it. See it as a time to steal away with God to taste His new mercies and have your cup filled with cosmic joy. “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (Psalm 94:6 NLT).
Lay your mornings before the Lord as a sacrifice of praise and worship dedicated to Him. Then whether sleepy or restless, meet with Him. Try 30 days straight. Commit 10 minutes the first week; then 15 minutes the second week, 20 minutes the third week; then 25 minutes the fourth week. Make this a priority (like eating). For 30 days give up the late night sitcom(s), surfing the Internet, or whatever it is keeping you up so late. Get to bed early enough that you can get between 7 – 8 hours of sleep. Set your alarm, disalarm your snooze, and get those pants on!
What might the early morning ritual for you to meet with God look like? Stay tuned. In the meantime, take heart that God is after your joy. He wants to satisfy you with His steadfast love so that no matter what the day brings you’ll sing for joy. Consider that the best time to put yourself under His fountain of love, joy, and new mercies is first thing in the morning.