Saturday, January 3, 2015

Early to Rise

“I rise early, before the sun is up; 
I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.”
Psalm 119:147, NLT

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” This 18th  century English proverb is a variation of an older proverb in print as early as 1496: “Whoever will rise early shall be holy, healthy, and happy.” I love this earlier version. To trade a few extra winks in the morning for a lifestyle that is beneficial to my spiritual, physical and mental well-being seems like a no-brainer to me. So, why do I continue to ignore the virtues of rising early?

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool night owl. It’s a generational thing. My mother passed it down to me, and I‘ve passed it on to my oldest daughter. It appears each generation has the malady a notch worse than the preceding one. I’m sorry I didn’t inherit my father’s habit of rising early. He always said, “The early bird gets the worm.” I’ve never had an affinity for worms. My problem exclusively, I’m sure.

I want to be a morning person. There have been times in my life when I’ve been successful at rising early, but I’ve never maintained the routine. Problem: I can’t shut down my day on the backside. If I’d choose to go to bed an hour or so earlier, I could probably make this morning thing work.

Several studies have correlated waking up early with success and have shown that morning people are more optimistic and productive individuals. Night owls, on the other hand, though linked with creativity and intelligence (ahem), prove more likely to exhibit traits such as depression, pessimism and neurosis. Good grief!

Today’s Scripture verse is just one of many in God’s Word that encourages rising early. Even Jesus rose early. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35, NIV).

I desire to pattern my life after Jesus and to begin my day in the presence of my heavenly Father without distractions. At least, I don’t need to get dressed and leave my house to find a solitary place to pray. My cushy couch, fuzzy house slippers and morning brew is not a horrible lot. I should be able to do this. I can do this. God’s Word promises that with the Father, all things are possible for me. Breaking an old habit and adopting a new one is doable. Old habits may die hard, but they do die.

I recently purchased The Early to Rise Experience: Learn to Rise Early in 30 Days by Andy Traub. Today, I chose to rise early. I’m on my way to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. I’ll take holy, healthy and happy over an earthworm mentality any day! How about you? Let's rise to meet the challenge together.

Now it's your turn? Are you a night-owl or an early riser? If you decide to join me in my quest for wholeness, I'd love to know. You can obtain a copy of Andy Traub's book at the following link:  

I always welcome your comments.


Day 3: My 500 Words ~ 533 words
Challenge: Rise early

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