Friday, February 15, 2008

Good Morning, Lord

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice. Ps 5:3

I wonder what your first thought is on waking. As I once heard someone comment, do you find yourself saying, "good morning, Lord," or is it more a case of, "good Lord! Morning." Are you fumbling for the alarm clock wishing you'd gone to bed an hour earlier the night before? Do you have an immediate sinking feeling as you realise the challenges that are ahead of you? Or are you one of those people who's excited by the prospect of a new day and can't wait to leap out of bed and get going? How long is it before the Lord enters your thoughts?

When Does Jesus Come Into It?
We're all different - fearfully and wonderfully made, to use the psalmist's words. We're at our most alert at different times of the day and if possible we should give our best time to the Lord for our personal devotions. The early part of the day suits many people but others find they cannot concentrate sufficiently until later.

Either way though, if we are aiming to live for and walk with the Lord Jesus throughout the day, the sooner He enters our thoughts, the better. A friend of mine commented to his Sunday School class that it is a good practice to say, "good morning, Lord" right at the beginning of the day. But how do you do that? How do you train your mind so that your very first thought is of God?

Beginning With Singing
I have stumbled over one way of doing this. It may not suit everyone but it works for me. I have found that when I listen to music my mind tends to carry on playing it even when I stop listening. If I have a worship CD on in the car when I go shopping, the same song that was playing on the stereo when I get out of the car is playing in my head when I return and switch it on again. In fact, if I pay attention, that song has been buzzing round my head all the time I was in the supermarket.

If I listen to enough music during the day there is always a worship song playing in the back of my mind. I've even found that sleep doesn't switch off my internal stereo. If I've been listening to Christian music or singing towards the end of the day, there is often a hymn of praise already playing in my head when I wake up. As I emerge from sleep my soul is already singing to the Lord.

Prayer College Assignment
Our minds need to be disciplined to set themselves on God - we have to be careful to give them the right kind of input. I've used the example of worship songs, but I believe that taking time every day to focus on Scripture or on prayer can be equally effective. The key is to decide not to allow your mind to become idle, but to use as much of its spare capacity as possible to focus on the Lord. Is 26:3 and 2 Cor 10:5 show us how important it is that our minds are kept under control. A disciplined mind will be focused enough to be set on God from the moment we wake in the mornings. Determine that you are going to love the Lord with all your mind (Mk 12:30) including those first conscious moments of the day.

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