There used to be a time when I would see mass schedules for various parishes and gawk at the 6:30 AM daily mass times. “6:30?? That would mean I would have to wake up at 5, maybe earlier! That’s still nighttime!” (I wish I could say I said that when I was a kid, but honestly, it was last month.)
Morning people are an enigma to me. I have never been a morning person. When I was in elementary school, I couldn’t wait to get to middle school because they started an hour later than us. That extra hour seemed like such a luxury. And in college, the people who actually preferred 8 AM classes were very few and far between. Sure I might be able to get to class in time, but I never was able to wake up early enough to prepare myself a decent breakfast or do some homework.
Every one has probably heard at some point the health benefits that a good night’s sleep provides, but now there’s even word out that making smart use of early mornings is the key to success for some people. I’m beginning to see why. I’ve experienced better overall alertness and energy the more I stick with getting up early. I’m still not a morning person, but now my morning routine is a habit drilled into my brain so well, that I don’t need to be entirely awake for the first half of it or so. Pleasantly, I’ve been able to realize that even weekends have benefited from early mornings, especially this time of year when the daylight hours are longer.
But best of all is the effect it has had on my prayer life. Being able to have the time to stop and focus solely on God first thing in the morning before I let other worldly things distract me, even if it was for only 5 minutes, really helped me to stay focused on Him all day long. Traffic didn’t irritate me as much, I was nicer to strangers, and I had a smile on my face more often than not.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to change your routine into that of a morning person’s, but I would ask that you consider reflecting on your habits and seeing if there isn’t some prayertime allotted in there somewhere. And if not, seriously consider what you would need to change in order for there to be some. Then, the most important step is to pray – pray for the grace you will need to change your habits, and ultimately yourself, into one that is more Christ-centered.
Photo via Flickr.