Waking Up On The Right Side of the Bed

25 08 2010

1 My heart is steadfast, O God;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.

2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn. (Psalm 108)

I am trying to think of the last time I woke up exclaiming, “Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn!”

When was that?

It really matters how I wake up; the first perception, the first thoughts I allow myself to think, the way I swing myself out of bed, my attitude when I walk to the shower. Who I am in the morning is my decision, isn’t it? Even though some people are naturally alive and awake in the morning, and some are not, isn’t waking up on the wrong side of the bed the result of a choice?

On the most basic level, we have gone after this as a family; you don’t have the privilege to wake up moody here. That isn’t to say that every day is a sunny and happy day, but in the Klassen house, you are not allowed to wreck everyone else’s morning by being grumpy and irritable. Illegal. It’s fine to be quiet, it’s fine to express what you are struggling with, but at the same time, being considerate of others is a choice we are saying that each one of us can make (Josh has the opposite problem, he is too cheerful, too full of mischief too early, he has to contain all of that or everyone turns on him). Some mornings we have to turn around and go find ourselves again so that we can come out and be civil.

But obviously there is more to it then that; more to the morning than simply being nice to others. The way I wake up really does set the course for my day.  It is amazing how quickly a bad day sets in.  Without even consciously thinking about it, I can be immediately worried, overloaded, frustrated, angry. I can immediately dread pushing the covers off and having to face whatever I have to face. There is no Polyanna way to get around this; sometimes the day ahead is less than inviting.

Sometimes I think if I pray first thing, I will have a change of heart and mind, but peace is a slippery thing. I have it in my hand, and it’s gone. I grab it again, and it’s gone again. Some things we are dealing with don’t just vaporize when we pray and push forward.

  • What is it like for someone who’s concerns are far greater than mine?
  • What about the person living on the street?
  • What about the person with a terrible illness?
  • What about someone who is in deep trouble?
  • What about someone who has that problem that won’t go away, day, after day after day?

What would I say about the mornings then? What about when you wake up and it feels there is nothing really worth waking up to?

David (from the Bible) knew all about trouble. Did he ever get any breathing room? I think that’s why Psalm 108 doesn’t begin on a note of praise; it begins with the words, “my heart is steadfast.” That’s self talk. That’s telling yourself to remember what you believe. That’s digging deep and finding determination that is rooted in faith. There is work to steadfastness that feels more like a pull than a glide. Steadfastness is really not about feelings; it is about convictions that you hold to no matter what. Stand firm.

Even if I don’t feel what I want to feel first thing, even if everything is out of balance, can I at least fix my gaze on what I know about God’s presence with me first thing in the morning? So, even if I don’t exactly feel chipper, can I “sing” anyway? Can I choose to do that?

I can relate to this passage this morning because I feel, “discombobulated.” Didn’t sleep great, my head is swimming in details and issues (things I need to do that I just can’t get to because of big disruptions; and when things get pushed off and pushed off, it starts to feel stressful), too many varied things I have to pay attention to. My head actually hurts today.

So who will I be this morning, who will I be today?

I serve a God who never leaves me. His love is measureless. His wisdom is perfect for every situation. My entire life is in His hands and He is the keeper of my soul. He is about hope, not despair. He is about windows, not walls. He is about leading me, not following me. He invites me over and over to trust Him, this is His timeless message, and when I follow it is always the right thing.  Is He big enough for today? Yes. Is He completely present? Yes. Will He give me everything I need to tackle what He wants me to tackle? Yes. God is all about Yes, isn’t He?

Sometimes I think mornings feel overwhelming because I have the perception that I am alone in “all this” but that is where I need to steadfastly go back to what I know: I am not alone. I not only have partnership, I am not even in charge. I don’t even have to carry what I think I have to carry, all I need to do is listen better and follow better.

I love how David says, “I will awaken the dawn.”  Usually we are woken up, and sometimes it is an unpleasant awakening. But David gets the jump on unpleasantness; he gets the upper-hand on the day, meeting with God before anyone can say anything.

Our God says to the complicated dawn, “Beat you to it! I AM up already.” And that means that Jesus and I already have a plan for how we are going to tackle this day.

— Teresa Klassen

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