Practicing First Fruits
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:
- 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.
- 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?