O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
The word “earnestly”, Hebrew שָׁחַר (shachar ), may also be translated “early”. You may say, “But I’m not a morning person.” My advice is to give God your best time of day – I find that mornings work best for me.
Over the years I’ve discovered some practices that enable me to have a great start to the day and perhaps they will be an encouragement to you. They are summarized in the acronym BEST.
B represents the Bible. I start with God’s word. I find that reading three chapters a day (and I add a few on the weekends) enables me to read through the Bible in a year. I read slowly, expecting that God will speak to me through His word. Here are some questions I find helpful:
Sin – Is there a sin to avoid?
Promise – Is there a promise to claim?
Example – Is there an example to follow?
Command – Is there a command to obey?
Truth – Is there a truth to believe?
E represents exercise. I find that a good workout is invigorating and I have a sense of accomplishment afterwards. It’s a great feeling to get out in the quiet of a predawn morning and then to see the sun coming up through the trees as I’m finishing up a run. Do you experience stress in your life? John Ratey in Spark, asserts,
I want to cement the idea that exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health. It is simply one of the best treatments we have for most psychiatric problems. (p. 7)
S stands for solitude. It’s refreshing to come before God and simply be still and listen. When we turn off the noise of the world, then we are able to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. This aspect of my morning then leads to the T.
T represents talk to God in prayer. This is an opportunity for me to reflect upon what I’ve read and pray as God leads. I’ll bring the challenges of my day to God in prayer and seek His wisdom. I’ll also reflect upon what would make this an amazing day.
If your schedule is like mine, there will be early morning meetings and I simply don’t have the time I would like. My Bible reading is a non-negotiable, it is a priority with me. I may delay or skip exercise if time is tight, however, I find that if I don’t work out in the morning it’s difficult to fit it in later on with a busy work day and evening meetings. If this seems overwhelming then start small, don’t let perfectionism keep you from experiencing your BEST morning.
Are you ready to experience your BEST morning? Set your alarm clock and get ready for a great start to the day!
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5