I’m one of those obnoxious people who enjoy mornings. I think it is just the promise that each new day brings. In the morning, my day is a tabula rasa, waiting to be filled with all sorts of adventures. Now, don’t get me wrong–there is very little chance in a typical day that I would experience what would qualify as an actual adventure. Lest you think that my average day might might consist of engaging in minor acts of espionage or hopping on a flight to Paris, let me assure you, they are all extremely average and comfortably routine. In fact, as I think about it, my days each revolve to an embarrassing degree around meals: fixing breakfasts, packing lunches for whomever is going to school, preparing lunches and dinners for those at home, coupon organizing, meal planning, grocery shopping, etc. What can I say? We all have to eat, and someone has to make that happen! When I’m not working on meals, I’m usually playing with the kids, cleaning, running other errands, enjoying play dates…stuff like that. I know, I know: I live on the edge.
And yet, when I think about the different paths my day might take, the differences are dizzying. On a typical day, I might:
–experience incredible communion with my Creator
–show my family what a joyful existence looks like as I pour love into them
–be a blessing to everyone with whom I come into contact
–be a successful ambassador for Christ, showing people a path by which they can be reconciled to God
–live my little plot of life to the absolute fullest
–put my plans before people (this is a big temptation for me)
–show my family a stunning example of hypocrisy in action
–not make the slightest impression on anyone with whom I come into contact
–fail to reflect God’s glory
–waste my life by living on the surface of the day’s events
It could seriously go either way. And sometimes, if you were to graph my behavior throughout the day based on which way I went, the graph would have the elevation consistency of a mountain range. It’s hard to stay focused.
That’s why it is so important that I get my head in the game beforehand.
For me, that means talking (or rather, writing, since that’s how I roll) to God and spending some time with His Word. Some days it will be a few verses; some days, it will be a few chapters. Sometimes my “focus time” lasts five minutes; sometimes it’s over an hour. It really varies, depending on the day and on my needs.
Regardless, I’m not sure when prayer and Bible study went from simply the correct answer in Sunday school (“Class, how do we grow closer to God?”) to an oxygen-and-water-style necessity; all I know is that the transformation has occurred. Sometimes, it even seems like a weakness. I would think that as I got older and more mature in my faith, I would have to check in with the Big Guy and refer to the manual less, not more. That’s how learning works, right? You get to the point where you can do it on your own.
With Christianity, though, the opposite has proven true in my life. Instead of being more and more able to “stand on my own two feet,” I have found myself more and more spiritually helpless and in need of constant communion with God. I know that, according to my understanding of the Bible, that is probably a good thing…but it still seems counter-intuitive.
All I know is that the days that don’t start out with focus time are much more likely to be train wrecks than the ones that do. I know that when I don’t take that time in the locker room, so to speak, to get my head in the right place, then I am often off my game for the rest of the day.
These days, I live in eager anticipation of what God is going to do in a given day, and I desperately want to be a part of it. I get excited by a God who can do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine…and my focus time helps gives me the vision to see what those things might be.
What about you? What do you do to get your head in the game?