I can’t say I’ve always been a morning person, but I am now, and I like it that way. I don’t need an alarm clock to get up before our part of the globe turns its face to the sun, when the darkness rests like a blanket on the ground, punctuated here and there by streetlights and the headlights of other early risers.
I don’t even mind walking the dog when I can do it early in the morning, before the other dog-walkers are out, when we can walk and sniff in peace.
When the weather and the bugs allow, I like sitting out on the patio, watching for a glimmer of sunlight through the trees, listening to the birds singing at the top of their lungs from every direction, watching a squirrel tear hickory nuts from a tree that hangs over our back fence, marking the progress of the guy who delivers the paper to our neighborhood, and who apparently can’t afford to fix his muffler.
Morning is a good time for thinking and meditating and getting ready for what the day has yet to bring. I have often heard people speak glowingly about their “quiet time” in the morning when they get up to read scripture and pray, some of them for hours on end. I confess that my time is less focused on scripture and prayer, and more likely to be spent in quiet contemplation as I think about the challenges and the opportunities the lie ahead.
While doing so, however, I find it helpful to keep in mind that God is present in those dark and quiet moments, just as in the working out of the day.
A favorite text is the familiar refrain of Lamentations 3:22-24:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,his mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,“therefore I will hope in him.” (NRSV)
The poet wrote these words from a context of deep grief over the destruction of Jerusalem. His (or her) life had been turned upside down and all that had been stable was now uncertain. Yet, the poet held to a belief that no matter how bleak the day, God’s steadfast love is as dependable as fresh morning air — God’s promises remain the source of our hope.
I’m partial, as well, to Psalm 143:7-8, the prayer of a person who sought God’s presence:
Answer me quickly, O LORD;my spirit fails.Do not hide your face from me,or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,for in you I put my trust.Teach me the way I should go,for to you I lift up my soul.
Thoughts such as those help get me ready for the day, whatever it holds.
If you’re not a morning person, perhaps you should give it a try.