In the last 5 posts we have looked at “Beginning well – getting a great start.” A good beginning starts somewhere, and the best place to start is with the beginning of our day. Someone asked me recently, “How do you begin your day well?” I thought that this would be a good thing to discuss for the last post in this series. We all want our days to be like the bluest, blue sky and the greenest, green grass kind of days. We want them to have the “Snow White” feel. You probably remember the scene, the one in which she is singing the song, “Whistle while you work.” There is singing, there are flowers and cute little animals, and she has a positive, happy attitude all while she works.
As I look into my backyard at the large oak tree I wonder how it grew so large? There are many factors in the growth of a tree. But for a tree to grow tall and large it must have roots that grow out wide and grow down deep. To grow us in following Christ, we also need to have things in our life that help our roots go deep and wide, as well. To begin each day well, we need to have elements regularly woven into our days that have been discussed in the first 5 posts on “Beginning well.” As those elements become a regular part of our life, we will see our days overtime being shaped for God and with God. They will not be perfect, but there will be growth and change over time.
Elements for each day:
With God – recognize He is God and over all. He is over this world, my time, and my life.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and all who dwell in it.” Psalm 24:1
Outward – Am I lifting my eyes up? Am I seeking to become a giver and not a taker? Do I see the people around me and their need to know what God is like?
“Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” John 4:35
Asking – Ask God each day, “What do you want?” Each concern, worry, or anxiety lift up to Him. “I give this _____ (concern) to You. “What do you want God?”
“Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are one You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12
Stop – Take time each day to be with God. Am I regularly reading the bible and spending time with the One who loves me? I like to read a Psalm, and a “scene” or section of the New Testament each day first thing in the morning. Maybe for you, it is starting the day with a Psalm. When is a time you can stop, be alone, and take time out for God and His word? Look for pauses in the day to look to Him. This time allows Him to shape me. It allows me to depend on Him and trust Him.
Confess – Are you daily confessing your sins as you notice them? This could be a time at the end of the day, looking back over your day and acknowledging them to the Lord. It is also a time of confessing sins as you go along your day, quietly in your heart. I tell my kids (and myself) that sins are like bricks and with each brick we make a wall. If we don’t confess our sins, we end up putting a wall up between ourselves and God and ourselves and others. Confession pulls these bricks down, allowing communication and good relationships with God and others. This is vital for good relationships.
These are just a few things I have found helpful. I have also found it helpful to give a little time before anything else in my day, for some of these elements. Now of course, most days are not Snow White kind of days. Even she had her troubles. Practicing these things helps our roots to go out wide and down deep. They are also like guard rails on a difficult road, that help keep us on a good path. These elements are some of the best things for beginning a day well.
“Satisfy us in the morning with Your loving-kindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
*When is a time you can be alone with God each day?
*Come up with a plan for reading the bible each day. Start with a Psalm and then a section from the New Testament (try one of the gospels). Look at “just a glimpse of what?” for a suggestion for reading John.
*Who is encouraging you to look outward? Get involved with a group or community that will encourage this.