I have sometimes heard it said that we should keep the main thing the main thing. I think we should also keep the first thing the first thing. The main thing is our faith in Jesus, and the first thing is greeting Him each new day. It doesn’t matter whether we are locked down due to a pandemic, flying free as a bird, distressed or happy. Whatever our state, our Lord is first and deserves the first of our day.
In Psalm 57:7-8 David proclaimed, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make music! Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn!” Reading between the lines, I imagine David saying, “I won’t leave greeting this new day to the roosters! I’ll awaken the dawn; it won’t awaken me. And I’ll do it with passionate praises!” That is so David!
But think a moment about roosters. Much to the chagrin of many, not only do they awaken the dawn, it seems they enjoy waking everyone else, too! That’s how God made them tick. He gave them a special internal clock to help them anticipate the approaching dawn and jump into gear. Often, they even start crowing way before dawn. It doesn’t matter how a rooster’s previous day went or what might follow, they are ready to greet each new dawn boldly!
Like roosters, some people seem wired as enthusiastic early risers. Others must work hard to build the habit. Still others prefer late nights and late mornings. Whatever our daily practice, we need one top priority: Each morning, we should greet the Lord with praise and at least some time in His Word.
We don’t want to be like the one referenced in Proverbs 6:10-11: “Sleep a little. Doze a little. Fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. Suddenly, everything is gone, as though it had been taken by an armed robber” (CEV).
Interestingly, executives tend to get up before dawn to start their day. In fact, some studies show that early risers (especially super early risers) tend to be happier, more productive, and better off financially. The good news for those like me who are not naturally early risers is that half who are early risers learned the habit.[i]
Was David’s habit of awakening the dawn natural or acquired? We don’t know. Regardless, I believe it was a huge factor in his success. Note how he resolutely declared, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!” Yet so much of his life was an emotional roller-coaster replete with near-death experiences. Still, he kept his heart steadfast.
David was destined to become Israel’s greatest and most beloved king. I believe his success was due in large part to the steadfastness that sprang from his habit of awakening the dawn to greet God.
We live in progressively uncertain and turbulent times. Perhaps we are even on the brink of cataclysmic changes, even apocalyptic ones. Can we find and keep stability amid the turmoil? We must! How? Remember David’s habit. Never put the Lord on the back burner but on the front. He watches over you all night and anticipates your morning greeting. The sound of your voice never grates on Him like that of a rooster’s crowing. To Him, your voice is beautiful!
[i] Here’s an interesting sleep study with their results: https://amerisleep.com/blog/making-the-most-of-the-morning/