A bit later than I wanted to post, but better late than never.
Week 1 of the Hello Mornings challenge has been completed, and I was up and moving around at 5:30am either three or four days out of seven this week. Today starts Week 2, and I got up a little bit earlier. I set my alarm for 5:15am today, and I’ve discovered that to get the time I really want in the mornings, I will have to be up around 5:00am. So, moving forward, let’s review what stood out to me this week and what Scriptures were covered.
Day 2: John 1:19-34
“This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing” v. 28
Bethany, was also the name of the place where Jesus feet was washed with tears and perfume and where Lazarus was raised from the dead. Now, with the map I have from my Meet Jesus book on Leicester (my Kindle), there are two places named Bethany. So I’m not completely sure which Bethany this verse is talking about, but the more I see the name Bethany, the more it has significance in Jesus’ ministry. Time and time again I read of Him going there or someplace near there. Which made me wonder, where is Bethany today? What is it called today? Is it still called Bethany, or has it been given a new name?
Day 3: John 1:35-51
These verses are John’s description of Jesus gathering his 12 disciples. One thing that struck me when I first read it was, it seems simple to them to quickly believe and drop everything. But I remember, they had the Messiah’s coming foretold for generations and John the Baptist was loudest/persistent about them paying attention and remembering and believing that One was coming.
Day 4 : John 2:1-12
“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. ‘My time has not yet come.’ But his mother told the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’.” v. 4-5
How often does God clearly tell us, “it’s not time” and we go on to make plans and set things in motion anyway? I find it interesting also that He referred to Mary as “Dear woman” and not Mother. He wasn’t speaking to her as her child, but as her Saviour and Creator. He could perform the miracle she wanted, and He did perform the miracle she wanted (changing water into wine), but it wasn’t His time. Saving the day, as it were, is what Mary wanted but it wasn’t what she needed. But in His love he gave her what she wanted. Likewise, sometimes what we are asking for is not what we need. But we fervently want Him to fulfill that desire for whatever it is we are asking for. Sometimes He gives it to us, sometimes He saves us from ourselves.
Day 5: John 2:13-25
“Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.” v. 23-25
Ouch. What a pain this caused when I first read it. The New Living Translation is one that puts the Scriptures into words so easy for me to understand, and unfortunately this passage is so true, isn’t it? If we look at ourselves with honest and sincere vision, we will know this is true. We may not be the most unreliable person alive, but how many of us have skipped a workout we enjoy because we’d rather sleep in? How many won’t say “enough” to our favorite TV show and will stay up til the early morning hours watching the latest episodes online? (Ahem, Doctor Who and/or Downton Abbey and/or Bones til 1:00am or 2:00am here). Do we keep hitting the snooze until we finally drag ourselves out of bed with just enough time to pull our hair back and turn on the lights before our children wake up, or do we say to our fleshly desire for more sleep “I am saying no to you and yes to my Creator. He deserves my undistracted attention in the mornings”. Now, I know that if I have a sick child and don’t get to sleep til after 3:00am then my sleeping in til 9:00am is perfectly fine, and probably a necessity. But to constantly sleep late because I don’t like waking up early, is a lousy excuse. I don’t like going to the dentist, but I like having my teeth. I don’t like running on the treadmill (which I seriously need to get back to) but I like burning enough calories to enjoy an ice cream guilt free. I don’t like cooking that much, but I like giving my family meals I know are healthy and will prolong their life, not shorten it.
So, in short and to wrap up so I can feed my son breakfast, there has been quite a few things already for me to review and ponder. As a quote I found states, “Discipline is remembering what you want.” Another is “If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.” I am choosing to continue sacrificing my own desire for sleeping in, because when I do I am so abundantly blessed with the sunrise…and birds singing….and quiet time to myself…..and a day that is filled with more calmness and understanding and patience and joy. Why would I give that up?