Early morning has always been my favorite time of day. From my youngest years I was an early riser. As a boy it was my job to get up at dawn to feed the livestock on our little country place in Tennessee.
When I grew a little older, in the early hours I would ride my bike into the small town near where we lived to deliver newspapers. Even today, I cherish the morning like no other time.
My usual schedule is to rise at four o’clock. I proceed to my study (which is in our house) and work for two hours (studying, writing, answering mail, etc.). Then at 6:00 a.m., I leave for a walk in the freshness of a new day. My journey takes just over an hour. In addition to the valuable exercise it provides, I try to use it to enhance my soul.
There is no nobler way to begin a day than to commune with God in prayer.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Psalm 5:3; cf. 88:13).
In the freshness of the morning one can express gratitude to the Creator for the opportunities of a new start; the blunders of yesterday are past, and he can rejoice in the happy reality that Heaven’s “mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23).
For his anger is but for a moment; His favor is for a life-time: Weeping may tarry for the night, But joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
In the pale grayness of dawn there is the ideal time to petition God for the strength that will be needed the balance of the day. Jesus taught us to pray that we enter not into temptation (Matthew 26:41). Perhaps one of the reasons for Job’s profound patience (James 5:11) lay in the fact that he “rose up early in the morning” to worship God (Job 1:5; cf. 1 Samuel 1:19).
The commencement of the day is a marvelous time to resurrect those sacred Scriptures that lie dormant within the library of your mind. Bring them into your awareness anew and they will invigorate the beginning of your day.
One of my favorites is Psalm 118:24:
This is the day which the Lord has made; [I] will rejoice and be glad in it.
Cause me to hear [be reminded of] thy lovingkindness in the morning (Psalm 143:8).
Zephaniah instructed his contemporaries that God is righteous, committing no iniquity. Moreover, his justice, as reflected in his treatment of humanity, is brought to light “every morning.” He does not fail, even though men remain unjust and exhibit no sense of shame (3:5).
When I look into the fading darkness and see the planet Venus in the eastern sky, “the morning star,” I recall that our Savior is depicted in the book of Revelation as “the bright and morning star” (22:16; cf. 2:28). That heavenly luminary reminds me of the hope offered by the Lord each new day, and of the brilliant light he provides for my life (cf. John 8:12).
Early morning is the ideal time to organize one’s day. Perhaps your day is regimented largely by others in terms of job, etc.; still, we all have some personal time in which we hope to accomplish good to the glory of the Creator.
I am convinced that those who are the most effective in serving Christ are those who plan their activities. They think about important tasks to be achieved, they prioritize their goals, etc. It is sad that so many drift through virtually each day with scarcely any ambition—save to survive the rigors of work, the frustrations of children, or the ailments of body.
At the dawning of the day, your body is as rested as it will be all day, your mind is the sharpest it will be all day—as yet uncluttered with numerous distractions. Why not take advantage of this quiet time?
Not everyone is a morning person, I suppose; but for me, dawn’s early light is a most delightful and precious period of time.