Two months ago I wrote a blog post talking about how Doug and I were working hard to restore our discipline in the areas of eating and exercise. And, it’s been a good two months. Well, mostly.
One thing was really frustrating me. It seemed that the exercise was wearing me out. I was tired and sleepy every single day, not getting a real burst of energy until mid to late afternoon. I hated it! I tried this, I tried that. And I prayed. I asked Doug to pray with me. Another friend also asked how she could pray for me, and I shared the request with her. I knew I had to figure this out!
Then one morning something occurred to me. Maybe my breakfast just wasn’t cutting it. I was eating a healthy breakfast every morning, but maybe it wasn’t the right breakfast for the workout I was doing each day plus the rest of the demands of the day.
Sure enough, I changed my breakfast habits and within a few days I started to feel better. I wasn’t sleepy all morning, and I started my day with real energy.
If you’re anything like me, the spiritual day often feels the same way. I start my day off a time of Bible reading, contemplation, and prayer. Every day. I used to be much less consistent with this morning time, but I have finally come to the point in my life where I don’t miss it. But, there are still some days when I feel as if my spiritual energy is gone almost before I even get up from that quiet time.
It’s easy sometimes to think that our spiritual nourishment is going to be automatic just because we sit down and start the day with some Bible reading and prayer. But, it is no more automatic than gleaning energy from our breakfast. Just like the right breakfast is as important as having breakfast, so is it important to do more than simply read God’s Word.
Now, I’m not talking about a right or wrong way to have a “quiet time.” I’m not talking about making sure you check off some list to ensure that you’ve done it correctly. Believe me, I’ve been caught up in that trap far too many times!
No, what I’m talking about is a true interaction. A true surrender to the Father, allowing Him to provide the nourishment He knows we need for the day. It’s easy to sit down with the Bible, read through our daily reading, and either glean from it what we want to hear or to simply be able to check that box off the “spiritual start to the day” checklist. But it’s quite another thing to sit down with the Bible open before us and to start off with a prayer something like this…
Lord, You alone know what I’m going to face today. I pray that You will illuminate Your Word to give me the nourishment I need to handle anything that comes my way. I know I can only do it through You, and I know I can’t do it through You unless You prepare me and draw me close to You.
The problem is not so much praying that prayer. The problem is more with taking the next step and listening as we read and study. It takes extra attention. It takes a little more time. And, it almost always brings some form of conviction. Yeah, can’t we just go back to that checklist?
Whether physical or spiritual, how we start our day greatly impacts how the rest of the day goes. Will we put the effort into starting it well? I hope your breakfast this morning is just what you need – in every way.