Another day. The alarm goes off. (What a wonderful way to start the day, right, with an alarm?!) Your feet hit the floor and before you are awake enough to think about it you are faced with maybe the most important decision you’ll make all day: How will you spend your first fifteen, thirty, or sixty minutes of your day?
The question of how successful people start their day appears on Quora. Quora is a website that boasts “the best answer to any question.” One responder included a picture of Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule. He begins the day by addressing “Powerful Goodness” and ends the day by examining the day. His question in the morning was “What good shall I do this day?” and his question at the end of the day was “What good have I done today?”
The Psalmist teaches a similar rhythm. But note it is an “evening” and “morning” rhythm.
“…ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices . . .”
“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
- Evening. Spend some time pondering and considering what “right sacrifices to offer.”
- Morning. Turn your attention to the day ahead and prepare the sacrifice you pondered the night before. Jesus had a habit of disappearing in the first hours of the day to pray and get direction for what lay ahead.
- Watch. See what happens. Pay attention to what unfolds.
It’s the rhythm of creation. Genesis 1 follows a cadence of “evening and morning.” That is how a day is viewed.
It is how you can view your day too. Successful people seem to agree. Whether it’s Benjamin Franklin or a present day life coach, most would say that you and I need to start our days with some time to be quiet. Give these five steps a try:
- Get a cup of coffee. (At least some of us may need to start here.)
- Spend a few minutes just being quiet. Address the Powerful Goodness that is God.
- Make a mental or physical list of what you are grateful for.
- Think ahead through the day. Offer a prayer for how you will be used during the day and for the people with whom you will be interacting. Ask the question “What good shall I do this day?”
- At the end of the day look back over it. 5-10 minutes of reflection can tell you much about how you spent your day. You may want to make some adjustments for the next day. No need to beat yourself up if you squandered some opportunities. Learn from them and prepare “right” sacrifices for the next day. Ask “What good have I done today?”
Then go to sleep. The Psalmist did: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
When you find the rhythm of evening and morning you will have good days.