I was restless last night. I could not fall asleep. My mind was racing and analyzing crazy alternate universes and outcomes in life. Somehow I went from almost falling asleep on the couch at midnight to being wide awake at 2:30 in the morning with a wired mind. Fortunately, though, any thought which happens after midnight should be taken with a grain of salt; any thought after watching two hours of Smallville and watching the Dallas Cowboys lose ought to be taken with a bag of salt. So, do not take me for being crazy. I just want you to understand why I am reflecting on the value of mornings.
During my years at Moody, I was the guy who went to breakfast every day. This is quite odd since I hate eating in the morning (and absolutely abhor working out in the morning!). But, I knew that if I were to be cognizant during Dr. Sauer’s Greek classes I would have to have some carbohydrates, proteins, fruit, and a cup of caffeine in my body. It was almost painful to eat. Each morning it feels like my throat is closed and my σπλάγχνα (sorry, I had to use Greek for ‘innerds’ again since this is loosely related to Greek class… ish… hah!) are playing ga-ga ball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ga-ga). Yet somehow, even with my body on the fritz, my mind is wide awake and ready for conversation. I was the guy that people were mad at since I wanted to talk about how neat Luther’s view on the Eucharist is, yet the modern communions of many protestants is only a faint shadow of that practice.
Yea, I was the guy you wanted to throw the salt at. You might still want to do that since you don’t care about Luther. But, while we are on the topic of Luther, isn’t that a very nice first name? It has a strong history and is very masculine. If I have a son, I would like to name him Luther (or Calvin), so that every time I see him or call his name I will be reminded of God’s ability to use any person for the betterment of his Kingdom (alright, you had to know some time that I am a protestant. Don’t worry Catholics, you get my love too, but in a much different way). But, for some reason Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster thought that the arch nemesis for Superman should be named Lex Luther (full name: Alexander Joseph Luther, first appearance is Action Comics #23, but was just called Luthor -yes, with an ‘o’ not an ‘e’). Is this a slap in the face to protestants? Or is this anti German sentiment appearing in comic books during WW2?
Well, those questions are for historians and better minds than me.
I hope you enjoyed that detour, but now I must return to the original topic at hand.
As wide awake as I am in the mornings, and as quick as I am to converse during the wee hours, it is still hard for me to concentrate my eyes on the pages of a book. This is very frustrating because I have decided that it is best for me to read my Bible in the mornings if I want to have the best consistency. And, for the past 120 days I chugged through a 4 month read through. It is hard to focus for 30-60 minutes a morning. In fact, I almost wanted to throw the proverbial salt shaker at David a couple times, especially when he says that “joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5b).
But let’s think about mornings. What should my thoughts be?
1. Thank You, God, for the blessings of family and friends; food and shelter; running water and electricity.
2. Thank You, God, for having preserved the Bible over the generations.
3. Thank You, God, that I am literate and able to read this Bible.
4. Thank You, God, that You have not given up on me.
5. Help me, God, to see Your movements of grace and mercy today.
6. Help me, God, to honor You with my thoughts and actions today.
7. Thank You, God, that I do not rely upon my own power but Your’s to see You and honor You.
8. Thank You, God, for all that I will take for granted.
9. Bless my friends and family, and help me to be a blessing to those that I would rather hate.
These nine prayers are simple, yet difficult. I struggle to remember to pray most of these, much less all of them over the course of a morning (or day…). But God is good. When I wake up with my mind set on living in light of God’s goodness, I can sing along with the old hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness”
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
May my morning breath, and your morning breath be along this line.