Sunday, 07 October 2018 17:57

Get up early

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A few months ago, we got a new puppy we named Lily. This puppy is so cute that I can’t stay upset with her on a long-term basis. I say that because she wakes me between 4:00 and 4:30 each morning. Most of the time I’m okay with this ritual, but sometimes I get a little frustrated. Between the puppy and my age, getting up early is not the problem it would have been when I was younger, but somedays her early risings are a little tough on me.

I have used this early morning time for positive results. I read, pray, study, prepare sermons, and get ready for other speaking engagements. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you have two hours of quiet, uninterrupted time to yourself.

Jesus saw the value in early morning hours. “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.” (Mark 1:35, NASB)

I pondered this thought today. Why are the early morning hours such a special time? There are some obvious reasons. For one, they are quiet. Peace and quiet are hard to find in our world. As you get older peace and quiet are in greater supply, than when you have small children. However, finding one to two hours of uninterrupted time is valuable, even as you age. It is easier for God to speak to us and for us to hear His voice in peaceful times.

The early morning hours can be productive because they are uninterrupted. Throughout the day we find competing voices coming from work, people and family demands. Those are demanding enough and then we add in the incessant voices of the world. Most of these are not bad, but they compete for our attention.

Uninterrupted time and noise – it’s hard to find a balance. This leads us to consider a third element. Peaceful, uninterrupted time will help us accomplish more. This in turn helps us focus on other matters that need our attention. I am the type person who feels a little guilty if somebody needs my attention and I neglect him or her because of my driven personality. You know what I mean; you take the time to finish projects instead of casually ministering to the person who is hurting.

This discussion can translate into a less stressful life. Today, for instance, I finished a lesson, worked on a sermon and walked/jogged two miles before going to my job at 8:00 a.m. I do not always approach life with this much clarity. I can testify to this because it is a testimony I experienced today. At the beginning of the week I evaluated my week and realized I was being called on to speak seven times. That caused my stress level to rise.

Today, I was reminded that a quiet, meditative, prayerful, and purposeful period (such as the early morning hours) can accomplish a lot in our lives. Before you misunderstand me, the purpose of this article is not to convince you to rise at the ridiculous time of 4 a.m. I was reminded God can accomplish much when we are overwhelmed with life. It is all about HIM! That is the purpose of our lives.

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