When you wake up first thing in the morning, what do you do? Children’s singer, Raffi, had this ditty: “When you wake up in the morning and you want to have a little fun, you brush your teeth, ch ch ch ch, ch ch ch ch!”
All dandy and fine for a 6AM wake up. Not so when it’s a 3AM insomnia rousing. In 2006, these were my mornings:
Restless thoughts, wordless fears,
Nothing in particular,
Yet everything together,
All muddled, clumped
Into one big gear,
The ‘what-ifs’, ‘should-haves’,
Threaten to overwhelm
Clear the fog, Lord,
Light the growing darkness
Lord, Still my heart please.
I have since learned that it is better to heed David’s morning rhythm: “O Lord in the morning will I direct my prayer.” (Psalm 5:3) Unequivocally, David knew God would listen. So unabashedly, like David, I am training my mind upward. ‘Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life’ (The Message). My Heavenly Father listens to me. And I wait expectantly as I turn to listen to Him. What happens thereafter continues to surprise me.
Sitting on the hillside (Matthew 5), Jesus spoke and the people listened. They listened to his iconic teachings about counter-cultural blessedness. About being meek, and about being at the end of their rope, yet trusting God. About being silently murderous and adulterous in their hearts, which God alone knew. And about becoming salt, light, authentic and living generously, instead of being hypocrites, making empty promises. Listening, their lives would be transformed.
Our God is a promise keeper. Abram learned that when he listened to God’s audacious promises to him. After each listen, the unassuming, profoundly important, two-letter word “So” appeared. “So, Abram went, as the Lord told him”.” (Genesis 12:4; 13:8). At each place of promise, Abram would build an altar where he would go each time to meet with God. I picture this as Abram’s daily rhythm of life. Listening.
When we take time and form a daily listening rhythm, our day’s priorities, agenda, demands, worries and anxieties somehow get rearranged. He makes our way straight. O the so good, good word of God.
Key Thought: “O Lord in the morning will I direct my prayer, and I will wait expectantly.”