The orchestra blares in my ear the familiar “Kylo Ren Arrives at the Battle”, and I know it’s time for me to get up.
I’ve already hit the snooze button more times than I care to admit, and today is the day I have got to get stuff done.
Begrudgingly, I roll out of bed and turn on the kettle for coffee. The clock on my phone reads “7:35”, and I want to do is crawl back under the covers, close the curtains, and fall asleep until 10.
I know. It’s ridiculous to complain about getting up.
I think senior year of university is partially to blame for spoiling me. Most days my classes didn’t start until late morning or early afternoon. So, I established the regrettable habit of waking up when my stomach growled, grabbing something to eat, and then going back to sleep.
I could, so I did.
Now in graduate school, I am faced with the same challenge. All of my lectures begin in the late evening, and late mornings are something I can afford to do.
Until recently when God began challenging me to start my day earlier. It wasn’t like I was a sluggard all day. Once I got started, I could finish my days productively.
I just had to get started.
Mark 1:35 reads, “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”
This morning I faced the incredible temptation to go back to sleep. All I had planned for the day was meeting a friend for dinner. The rest of the day I could dedicate to doing school work. There was no one hanging over my shoulder telling me when to start my day.
But I felt in my spirit to rise early and start my day with Jesus.
So, at first I was reluctant. I went through the same motions as every other early morning. I pushed myself out of bed and cooked some breakfast. By the time I was ready to go, I still had a twenty minute wait for the next bus.
My flesh wanted nothing more than to say I would start this habit another day, but my spirit was ready to meet with God.
I headed to my favorite coffee shop with my bookbag in tow and was determined to start my day right.
After spending the first half-hour reading from God’s Word, I felt much more awake. From where I sat, I could see the city start creeping awake. It was a special and humbling moment as I was reminded the gift God had given me of waking up in Nottingham, a brilliant city I can call home.
By 12:40, I not only finished editing one paper, I finished writing another. And I wasn’t even tired. With all the excitement and thankfulness I had, I could have run a marathon.
Before school work. Before social obligations. Before other commitments. Before everything life could throw was able to distract me, I started my day with prayer and communion with the Holy Spirit.
It’s amazing how much my perspective of the day changed. It’s amazing how much I was able to accomplish in such a short timespan. It’s amazing how God spoke to my heart because I wasn’t focused on a million other things.
I now know why Jesus woke up early in the morning and went to a secluded place. Before the hurt and the broken came to Him, Jesus knew that He had to have His quiet time with the Father. He had to draw strength from His God. He had to keep His eyes focused on the Truth and center His ministry on the Father’s call.
I understand mornings are crazy. Either you feel like you have zero time to do anything or you have too much time to do anything. Whatever your particular situation is, I want to encourage you to speak to God first thing in the morning.
Yes, even before you check Instagram or your work email. Even before you cook breakfast or pop on the morning news.
Just start your day with a simple prayer of gratitude and a willingness to hear from God. He will speak when we open our hearts to listen to Him and not the myriad distractions this world offers.