Have you ever had a morning when the alarm went off and you hit the snooze button and pulled the sheets over your head, because you knew what lay ahead of you that day? Though I am rarely one to tarry in bed, I have had many mornings when the task list seemed insurmountable, and I was dropping balls faster than I could pick them up. How we start our day can determine how our day will unfold.
King David, in Psalm 5, tells us how he had chosen to begin his day, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3).” Though he was encountering great difficulty in his life, he began the day by setting his requests before the Lord.
Donald Williams, in his commentary on the Psalms, tells the story of a US arms plant during World War II. The plant was producing defective bomb sights. Sabotage was suspected, so an investigation took place. The problem, as was discovered, was that the employees spent so much time focusing on a small part that their eyes went out of focus. The solution was to break periodically to rest their eyes, by looking at a distance. Their work became flawless. We too need periodic breaks to rest and refocus our souls on our God and King.
Many Christians talk of the necessity of devotion time, and they are right. However, often times we view our devotion time as a task to be completed. We commit to reading through the Bible in a year or reading a page of Our Daily Bread or Table Talk or some other devotional material once a day. So, we set out to read our four chapters or our page. But, such materials are only meant to be a means to a greater goal. Our devotion time ought to refocus our attention on God not on a task to be completed.
The many forms of liturgy embraced by the church over the centuries were designed to provide us not just a pattern for worship on Sunday mornings, but a pattern for our daily personal worship throughout the week. For example, the Call to Worship focuses our attention on the Lord, and the Prayer of Confession followed by the Assurance of Forgiveness gives opportunity to confess our sinfulness and remind ourselves of the gospel of Christ.
How might you use the morning as a time for personal worship and redirect your gaze to the Lord?