In the hope that I will improve my time, are you as convinced as me of the benefits of rising early? C.S. Lewis spoke appreciately of it, commenting on the beauty of the early morning, and the fact that you can appreciate it before everyone else.
For myself, as others, I work well at that time of day. I do not have the ‘procrastinating’ edge that I can have later in the day, if my schedule will allow it! Most of the big hitters of the church and also of the world have been early risers.
My recommendation would be, if you’re going to tamper with the time you get up, be realistic. Ten or fifteen minutes will make all the difference, especially if you’re a young person. Why get up early? Here are my reasons:
1. You get to be with yourself (and God) and get yourself sorted out mentally before you start dragging others into your personal space. This helps me to be considerate with others from the start of the day.
2. You can schedule your early morning and have total control over what you do. No one is telling you to do something: it’s your time. Listen to the Lord on this one! If you are pursuing a project, for example writing, or studying, or simply time in prayer, just 15 or 20 minutes every day is a vast amount banked over just a month or so. Think how much it would be over a whole lifetime.
3. It enables you to bring the firstfruits of the day to God. Sing praise to him in your heart as the birds start to sing! Check out the testimony of this believer as to what he feels about early rising. For me this is a challenge as I have never set myself to rise so early… perhaps I will now. Rather like him, I am off and about my work at around 7am. He argues here:
Waking up early to accomplish my goals is that type of action. Call it what you will–hustle, discipline, will-power, grit. Whatever you call it, it’s the energy you need to fuel your dreams. It’s what gets you out of bed when the covers beg you to stay and the voice in your head says, “You’d much rather be sleeping.” It’s what forces you to write even though you’re empty and you’re sure nothing good will come of it. It’s what separates dreamers from doers and visions from visionaries. Choosing to wake up early says, “even though my goals seems daunting, they’re worth the daily struggle of rising in the dark.”
4. It sets you off on the right foot in the morning. It’s very hard to get the victory every day – some days we do it without trying, by God’s grace. But we need to give ourselves every advantage. It’s also different from what the world does, and we want to set ourselves apart, don’t we? I think there’s especial grace later in the day, when you start to get really tired, that comes from early rising for devotional reasons.
5. It challenges my whole work schedule. Am I rising early because I didn’t get enough done the day before, or am I rising early to be with the one who my soul loves? One is such a better start to the day than the other. Time and again, when getting up early, I have been drawn to Him in worship and meditation. I think that our spirit goes to him that much quicker when we first wake. Take advantage of the quiet and the opportunity. We are here to be more like Jesus, and to be more with Jesus.