I abhor waking up in the morning.
In fact, I am convinced that getting up each morning is all the evidence we need to conclude that we live in a fallen world.
Think about it. How terrible it is that the first conscious thought we have each morning goes something like this:
“Ugh! It can’t possibly be time to get up already! What I would give for just a little longer…”
It’s a tragedy. Our first waking moments each day consist of the painful realization that we want something we can’t have. You might think that I’m being dramatic about this, or that I simply need more sleep, but I know I’m not alone in this. Clocky proves it.
As a tool to get snoozers out of bed, Clocky drives around your room, chirping until you get out of bed, catch him, and turn him off.
We’ve created an alarm clock robot to help us get out of bed more easily! We must be desperate!
This problem is compounded if we know we face a long, stressful day once we’ve been dredged out of our peaceful slumber. The result is that many people can’t stand waking up.
Two weeks ago, I read an article by blogger, Jeremy Statton. The provocative title claimed to help us learn to love Mondays. I’ve always been a supreme Monday hater. After all, I have to get up early for work, and I know that I have to do it for the rest of the week!
Jeremy’s article offered a simple premise. One that I knew, but needed to hear again. He invites readers to shift their thinking. He invites us to
Consider Mondays as a new opportunity for impact. In this light, we can cultivate a sense of gratitude.
God has used this insight in a profound way for me. As our church is experiencing transition and I’m working in new capacities, I’ve gained a sense of gratitude. For the last two weeks, each morning, I’ve consciously reminded myself that every day is an opportunity for impact, and I’ve thanked God for it.
This simple act of thanksgiving at the moment I wake up has dramatically altered my outlook for the day. It has given me a clearer sense of purpose each day in my interactions with others, my meetings, the way I spend my free time, and literally everything else.
This Tuesday, I woke up at 5:50am – an atrocious hour. The sound of the alarm was just as hideous as always. But as the sunlight slipped between the shades in my window, and I heard the birds chirping, I thanked God for the day. I thanked him that I was getting up to lead a Bible study with a group of dedicated men of faith. I thanked him for the ideas he had given me the night before about our study. I thanked him for my wife and daughter still peacefully sleeping, and his love for all three of us.
I have to be honest. At first, I simply did not believe that I could will myself into a different mindset in the morning. I also didn’t believe that it would impact the rest of my day.
However, this mental shift has produced such joy in me as I consider the way I spend my time lately. It has overflowed into my working relationships and my marriage. In these past few weeks, I’ve been more intentional about thanking people for who they are and what they contribute. Meanwhile, it’s given me more empathy for others.
Consider your attitude in the morning. What are the first thoughts that come to your mind? How can you be more intentional to thank God for the opportunities that lie ahead?
Experiment with this. Try to incorporate intentional gratitude for the next ten days and tell me what you find. I am confident that God will work in your heart.