Do you adore mornings? Early morning is my very favorite time of day, that slice of time between the darkest hours of night and the palest, most timid moments of dawn. Everything is hushed. Generally the air outside is calm, no matter the season. The house is still and lit only here and there by a few golden pools of light. I am almost always the only one awake at this time, and it's a wonderful time for perfect coffee.
Early morning is when my mind is most fluid and able to tap into that collective stream of life's possibilities. Everything feels fresh, possible, and important. While the sun is trying to reach over the east field, I always think I can do anything and that everything good and worthy can still happen.
This evening I ran across a few sentences that spoke volumes to me even before I realized they were spoken by one of this past century's most quotable men, John Wayne:
"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
Comes into us at midnight very clean.
It's perfect when it arrives,
and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
What do you think about this? Are you as enamored as I am by the gift of a new morning, by the opportunity and obligation to do better in this new day than we did in the previous one? No need to wait until January first of next year; we have new beginnings available to us every single day. And so we should be deeply grateful for every single day.
We see in the Old Testament even more encouragement to love dawn:
"It is of the Lord's mercies
that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness."
I encourage you to read that entire chapter in Lamentations. Especially if you are in the mode of counting your blessings, these passages are both humbling and strengthening, filled with encouragement to lean on God. Rely on Love.
If you spend your earliest morning moments preparing for the day rather than rushing into it, framing your thoughts and collecting your energies, I suspect you'll enjoy the results. Actively see the day as you want it to play out. Harness the power of your imagination. Resist fear and negative thinking; shun regret; embrace newness and strength. You'll be in decent company! Marcus Aurelius once said,
"A man's life is what his thoughts make of it."
This is not meant to imply that thoughts are all that matter, only that positive thinking is certainly a positive beginning and perspective matters a great deal. And in my opinion the morning is an ideal time to secure your perspective.
When I wake up tomorrow morning, I am determined to...
Pray those prayers I've been weary of for so long, the stuff I am close to believing will never happen
Be a better steward of my time, energy, material resources, & talents.
Be more appreciative for my abundance and for mercy.
Be kinder, more patient, and more compassionate than I was before.
Give more affection to our animals.
Reach out to loved ones in ways I haven't tried so far.
Believe the best about people then act on that belief.
On any given day, miracles can happen. Amazing surprises are lurking behind every sunrise, and I never want apathy, fear, or staleness in my own mind to preclude a miracle for myself or for a loved one.
Tomorrow morning, if you will, please pray for my family. Especially for my two daughters, Jocelyn and Jessica, and my two sisters, Angela and Genevieve. I hope your tomorrow arrives to you clean and is filled with mercies. I hope your tomorrow is richer and wiser than today, even if today was wonderful.