It All Starts in the Morning

Photo by Tanner Ecrement

As the sun creeps over the horizon each morning, a new day begins. Some of us are up early to see it because our jobs demand an early start or just because we are morning persons. Such persons rarely need alarm clocks. It’s almost as if there is an internal rhythm set to alert them to the sun rising, sometimes before the rays even fall across their faces on the pillow in bed. Others of us are not so fortunate. We need an alarm. Some of us need multiple alarms even if we did not go to bed at a late hour. Our rhythm is more as night owls. We are more alert as the evening shades slip into star studded skies and the moon rises.

We can manage to order our days as we must, but it can seem as if that natural tendency to be morning persons is hard-wired into many of us. I would love to tell you I am one of those, but I am not. At this stage of life, I am not sure I am as much of a night owl either as I was from high school through middle adulthood. My dear husband has been a morning person always as was my mother who awakened at five each morning long after she and my dad had stopped the task of milking cows on our farm each day.

No matter where we may be on this issue, how we begin the day and how we end the day has a significant impact on us in more than just whether we get a good amount of rest or get a lot accomplished before lunch.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

How we begin the day sets the tone of the day even though we may not recognize how much it does. That tone gets set in many small choices we make as we first open our eyes. There is a formation going on outside of our awareness much of the time and the choices we make influence the formation that goes far beyond the tone of the day. It determines how we view ourselves, those around us, and the world at large. Our initial focus pulls along toward those perspectives.

Who am I? And who am I becoming? These are the questions our morning routines are inevitably asking and answering for us.”

Justin Whitmel Earley

Those choices and the formation that follows become the source of our identity. Is our work the first thing that enters our mind and focus in the morning as we check on our devices for emails, messages, and texts to see what lays ahead of us to be on top of things when we arrive at our workplace? Is it checking on the news from our favorite sources? That used to be the daily newspaper or a local radio station for many, but those are rarely where we head for news now. Most of us who have chosen this realize news is not really what it used to be and becomes more about sensationalized politics than the strict reporting we were accustomed to before the 24/7 news cycle needed to be filled with endless chatter and opinions that too often give rise to fear or anger (sometimes both).

“Anger and fear have something in common: we become the center of things. This is why so many of our conversations about headlines start with ‘Can you believe…’ We’re amazed and indignant that the world doesn’t understand.”

Justin Whitmel Earley

And if our first choices in the morning take us to social media, those emotions spill over onto what we read and share on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other feeds. Before lunch we have been disturbed or disturbed others because we were propelled by anger and/or fear to opine on whatever headlines grabbed our attention before we even had our first cup of coffee.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Some of us have developed a habit of focusing on our spiritual devotions at the start of each day. Those who do can attest to how much it influences the entire day and provides for them in ways they don’t even see they will need. Even so, there are these other things that creep in: a phone call, an early morning appointment, pesky thoughts about something we were dreaming about or happened at the end of the previous day. The list can go on and on, but those who practice this habit know that the enemy of our souls knows it is vital and will seek to sabotage it whenever possible.

If we get hijacked by anything when the morning starts, the formation of our identity gets influenced.

“The story of Scripture is clear. We do not know who we are apart from the God who made us, and we do not know who we are becoming apart from the God who is renewing us. We long to know who we are. We daydream about the versions of ourselves that we hope to become. But apart from Jesus we can do neither of these things.”

Justin Whitmel Earley

If Justin Earley is right, and I believe he is, then the choices we make when the morning begins are crucial. Anything that draws our attention at the start of our day away from God, will get us off track. Work, news, and social media, worries about yesterday, and uncertainties about tomorrow can undo us.

“This means that the way we guide our formation is not by looking in and choosing our favorite identity; it is actually by looking out. We become what and who we reflect, which is to say we become what we pay attention to.”

Justin Whitmel Earley

Over the past few years, more and more things and sources have been screaming for our attention. It is little wonder that fear, anxiety, and anger have grown exponentially. Never has it been more crucial for us to withstand all the noise both within us and outside of us as we awake from sleep (whether morning persons or night owls), than to find who we are and are becoming from the only sure source – God through the Scripture.

Photo by Tanner Ecrement

13 thoughts on “It All Starts in the Morning

  1. Love your thoughts on the morning, Pam. I never used to be a morning person, period. I preferred doing my quiet time later in the day, but over the years I have come to treasure my morning times with God. You are so right, too many things demand our time and before long I would get pulled into the fray unprepared. Now I start, end, and walk through my days with God!

    1. Thank you, Donna. Amen! Amen! I think the enemy knows the power of morning and uses as many tactics as he can to get in the way.

  2. Pam, early mornings are my favorite time of day. I came to realize how much I needed to start my days with coffee and God’s Word while my children were still growing up. It’s probably what got us all through those years πŸ™‚ Tanner’s photos were just beautiful!

    1. You’re right even though I am not naturally a morning person. Thanks for the comments on Tanner’s photos. He is our middle grandson (24) and one of several very talented photo people in our family. I usually grab photos I like without any idea when I might use them or they might fit with a post.😊

  3. I am definitely a morning person and love this time of year since I tend to get up before sunrise; that means I get to enjoy all the beautiful colors of the sunrise!

  4. My day can only go well when it starts with the Lord. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

    Side note: I too grew up on a dairy farm and rose up early to help dad with the milking. But my husband is a night owl. After 30 years of marriage, I still can’t get used to that. It just doesn’t feel right. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Mandy. My husband of nearly 58 years cannot ever understand how I can be ready for conversation at 9 or 10 PM, but that is better than when we were younger and I could be going strong at 11PM and beyond. The funny part about that is that if I happen to miss getting in bed earlier as I tend to do now, I can still get a second wind about 11:30PM and then have difficulty getting to sleep so I am pretty sure this is a hard-wired tendency in us all. I can and have gotten up earlier, but my mind is not as alert and zipping along as my dear hubby’s.😊

  5. Good morning, Pam! What a wonderful reminder to start our day with the Lord. It definitely starts my day out on the right foot. Tanner’s photos are perfect for your message.❀️

    1. Thanks, Molly! Tanner as well as his dad take great photos and I hope to have more to use in future posts.πŸ’

Leave a Reply