to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
If this proverb is true, I
should weigh 120 pounds, have money totaling six figures in my checking
account, and be able to explain to my kids what makes the wind blow.
I’ve always been an “early”
person, whether it be for a doctor’s appointment, sending out my
Christmas cards, or going to bed. The adage “Better late than never”
has been banned from all cross-stitched samplers in our home.
I’m lucky to stay awake for the
nightly news. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept myself awake
for the opening theme song, only to be asleep before the anchor
announces today’s top story. And as for staying up until midnight to
ring in the New Year? I go to bed at my usual time, content that
somewhere, in some time zone, it’s already tomorrow. Happy New Year to
all and to all a good night.
To counter my early to bed, I
get up at five in the morning. Every morning. Even weekends. Actually,
I’ve tried to sleep late—or at least later (until six)—but my internal
alarm clock insists on five. So I go with the flow.
Those early morning hours are
precious to me. The house is quiet. There are no bowls of spilled
cereal, broken shoelaces, or misplaced algebra assignments. One of the
kitties may rub against my leg and meow a good morning, but otherwise I
have only the snap, crackle, pop of the house to keep me company.
Only that . . . and God.
As I walk to my basement office,
cozy in sweatpants and sweatshirt, I snuggle into a chair and open my
Bible. Totally rested, and open to suggestion, I let God in.
morning, Lord. What do you want me to do today?
I read and pray. And try to
listen. The conversation is simple and productive. Where prayers later
in the day may be hurried or harried as the obligations of daily life
intrude, the prayers said
sunrise are as soothing and satisfying
as an afternoon rest in a hammock. I start the day refreshed of body,
mind, and soul. As I turn on my computer to begin writing about Him, I
am often reminded of a line from Twila Paris’s song “I Will Listen”
that talks about making a choice and sticking with it until God says
it’s time to move on.
I’m willing to tolerate the
playful jabs made by the ignorant concerning my modest nightlife. What
I accomplish in the morning before anyone is awake outshines any
nocturnal diversions of the stay-up-late crowd who sleep until noon.
They brag that they stay up late because it’s exciting and gives them
If they only knew what they were
missing, for there is nothing more exciting than feeling close to God.
And nothing more pleasurable than taking a quiet stand and listening to
his voice—in the stillness of the morning. It’s a new year. Try it.
“Be still, and know that I am
God” (Ps. 46:10 NIV).