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Practicing First Fruits

 

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In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. –Psalm 5:3

And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose up and went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed. –Mark 1:35

Two different approaches to a challenging day:

  1. My day got off to a bad start.  I was emotionally living 3pm before I had begun the 7am hour.

Swirling thoughts, charged with negative ions raced through my head.  “I should’ve gone to bed earlier”; “I’m not prepared for the 3pm meeting”; “this is going to be a terrible day”; “my father was right about me”… and on and on the mental torture goes.

  1. My day got off to a wonderful start.  I was grateful to God for another opportunity.  The house was quiet.  I walked the dog as the world still slept.  The day would be challenging, but in this moment was the stillness of God’s presence.  What a wonderful day this will be!

Objectively speaking, both of the above scenarios are identical. The difference is entirely internal, and yet qualitatively the two are radically distinct.  You and I have numerous demands from the external world.  We are connected and responsible to our families, colleagues and communities.  And yet, rarely are the external demands coming to us before 8:00am.  What a marvelous opportunity to work on the inside.  As it is within, so it shall be without.

Meditation:  Am I making the best use of the first fruit of each day?  Am I working on practicing the presence of God in the morning to refresh my interior and bolster my courage for this day’s demands?



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