I’m a pretty good waker-upper. I might lay in bed for a minute or two after opening my eyes, but I’m not a grouchy, leave-me-alone, just-another-five-minutes, for-the-love-of-Mike-I’m-gonna-kill-that-alarm-clock kind of morning person. For the most part, I’m an up-and-at-’em kind of person. And while genetics might play some part of that, I really don’t think they do at all.
I’d like to suggest that today is the only day God is interested in. So when I wake up every morning, I want/need to see it as one more opportunity to participate in something God is intimately interested in. I look at my day as a one-day extension of my time in the mission field. I look at my day as one more day to enjoy the mystery of having a relationship with the Creator of everything I see, while still understanding that I can’t see Him…yet. When I open my eyes and I’m still alive, I consider this a message from God that essentially says, “Okay Jerry, let’s do this one more time. From the top.” In reality, each day is gifted to me to do with as I wish. To squander, to waste, to destroy, or to benefit from–and hopefully to benefit others in.
I typically have several things in my mind that are effective at getting me up and out of bed. Here they are in no particular order:
- The coffee is on. Even having given up sugar long ago, I still enjoy a morning cup ‘o joe. There’s just something about it.
- Along with my coffee is my Bible reading. Lately I think I’m “o.d.”ing on devotions. I’ll start off with Dennis Kinlaw’s “This Day With The Master”, follow it up with John MacArthur’s “The Quest for Character” (a study on the Beattitudes), then a healthy dose of straight Bible (currently working my way through Genesis & Job again). After that, I’ll head into the New Testament and just go where the wind blows (usually the epistles somewhere; they drip with practicality).
- Thoughts of what must be done today. Like I said, I think God is only interested in today. Given His eternality, how can he be anything but? God doesn’t plan for tomorrow. God doesn’t even have a tomorrow. Not only that, but Jesus warned about looking too far into the future because tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Matthew 6:34 is a great example of Jesus’ teaching on this. 2 Cor. 6:2 is also a great verse that emphasizes the “now”. So, I try and keep my thoughts to what must be accomplished TODAY. Does that mean I don’t plan for the future? Does that mean I’m not thinking about the details of next week, next month, or next year? Absolutely not. I simply keep my focus on what’s directly in front of me. It’s ALWAYS plenty for the time I have today.
- The simple yet profound joy in my life. I am a guy who is blessed beyond measure and who knows it. My wife is smokin’ hot and is in love with Jesus which makes her even hotter. My kids are by no means perfect, but they’re perfect for me. I can’t describe how blessed I am that they call me “Dad”. Everyday I get to do exactly what I love–student ministry–the thing that I feel I was born to do. And the people I serve with and minister to seem to like having me around. I know it more than anyone else: I’m unbelievably fortunate to live this life I’m living. And I don’t take it for granted. But that sense of joy of life is like a springboard that flings me out of bed.
What are YOUR first morning thoughts? Do you utter a prayer? Do you wake up joyful or stressed? Do you have a routine that helps set your day? I’d love to hear from you about what your waking moments (and what follows) look like!