Mercies New Every Morning . . .

sunrise

I’m a morning person, so I actually like getting up early. There’s just something about the peace and quiet before the day begins in earnest that puts me in the right mental state. Speaker and author Brian Tracy calls the first hour after you awake the “Golden Hour”, and suggests spending it in thinking about and visualizing your goals. By doing so, he says, “your life will start to take off at such a speed that you’ll have to put on your seatbelt.” The blogger Sean McCabe suggests that “the best time to do the most important work of your day is right when you wake up.” He proposes that because our brains work through issues while we’re sleeping, we have more mental clarity right after waking up and should take advantage of it. He suggests that everything starts with writing, so we should spend those first few moments writing down our thoughts.

My days seem to go best when I set aside this time for deep thinking, prayer and meditation. If I don’t spend that quiet introspective time, I don’t seem to have the same ability to handle stress and problems I encounter the rest of the day. These days, my routine includes reading the day’s entry for Jesus Calling, which has been one of the best devotionals I’ve ever encountered (thank you, Kerry!). I’ve given a copy to multiple people, and highly recommend it!

The Scriptures are full of morning references – here are a few:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness!
– Lamentations 3:22-23

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
– Psalm 143:8

But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
– Psalm 88:13

And I like Nicole Nordeman’s song “Mercies New”, the chorus of which goes:

Your mercies are new every morning
So let me wake with the dawn
When the music is through or so it seems to be
Let me sing a new song . . .

Mornings give us that new chance, a “do-over.” No matter how bad the day is, there’s always a new beginning the next morning. How cool is that?

Things That Matter Most Should Never Be at the Mercy of Things Which Matter Least

daylilies and phlox

Priorities. It’s all about priorities. Resources like time and money are limited, so in order to be most effective, we have to squeeze the most out of what we’re given.

Time is the worst – we all have the same 24 hours a day, and it’s so easy to get distracted, at least for me! I wander off on attractive bunny trails – of “good” things – and then an hour later realize I still haven’t done what I was supposed to do.

But bunny trails are so fun, especially in summertime when the livin’ is easy. I went out to water my garden a couple of days ago. I gave myself 15 minutes . . . and went back inside an hour and a half later.

impatiens

I’m especially bad at saying “no”. I think that I have to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes along, but then for some reason I find myself overwhelmed and grumpy. It’s so much better to say no at the outset than to disappoint others later when you can’t fulfill your obligation. The author Randy Alcorn wrote a blog post about this concept, which he calls “planned neglect.” He says we have to make sure we’re living to please God, not everyone else. We have to learn to say no to many good things in order to be available to say yes to God concerning that small number of things He has truly called us to. He further says we should NEVER say yes without asking God whether this is one of those exceptional things He wants us to do. Assume that God doesn’t want you to do that new thing and that he will smack you up side of the head if He does.

Alcorn concludes, “If I’m booked so tight there’s no room in my schedule for unanticipated God moments, I’ll miss them, and thereby miss some of life’s greatest joys and opportunities and occasions for gratitude. If you don’t give yourself room to breathe, you won’t give God room to move.”

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)