DayBreaks for 02/06/15 – The Rush of Wild Animals Mark 1:35 (NIV) – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
I know that God made us all different – and that actually is a very good thing! I have sometimes thought that it would be great if everyone were like me – thought like me, acted like me, believed like me, etc. But deep inside, I know that not only would it not be good (because I have plenty of bad thoughts, bad actions and erroneous beliefs) it would make life exceedingly boring! So, as the French say, “Vive la difference!” (Or something like that – I don’t speak French!)
But there are times when it ticks me off that some people are morning people. I, for certain, am NOT a morning person. So when a neighbor is up bright and early in the morning and goes out to mow their lawn or pound some nails into a board – well, that’s one of those moments when my thoughts aren’t all that good or wholesome!
I have struggled with the fact that Jesus seemingly was a morning person. Scripture speaks of him doing things in the early morning – getting away to pray, greeting his disciples on the sea shore, going to the temple to teach, etc. I know that when Scripture says we are to be like Jesus, it isn’t so much referring to the time of day he got up, but to his nature, thoughts, character and words. Still, most groups that try to teach us about how to have a daily quiet time suggest that we get up early in the morning to do so…and subtly (though I doubt purposely) make us feel guilty if we don’t.
I have wondered why Jesus did these things early in the morning – especially getting up early to pray. Then I read this from C.S. Lewis and it begins to make more sense to me: The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.
It isn’t for God’s benefit that we should start our day in prayer – it is for our well-being. We need to have strength each day to keep the wild animals of fear, greed, pride, anger, bitterness, envy, gluttony, etc., away from the doorway of our hearts and minds. And that is why we should start our day as Jesus did – with prayer – rather than sleeping as late as we can and then jumping out of bed and rushing to the shower or school or work. The wild animals would have at us if they can. But they turn tail and run when we are in the Presence of the one who died for us.
PRAYER: God, remind me to talk with you the very first thing each day so the wild animals that would consume my mind and heart are kept at bay! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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