Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A great way to start the day?

We are all different and have different tastes, ways of working, methods of getting things done, and we enjoy different lifestyles.  Some of us love minimalism and hate clutter.  Others, like myself, could never embrace the feng shui lifestyle.  We love books, photographs, paintings, works of art and certain special and sentimental objects around us.

 I remember one professor at Oxford who had an enormous room which overlooked the High Street; it was cluttered with books and works of art. But in the centre of the room there was a clutter free area with comfortable chairs and sofas. To me it was ideal, but some people would hate being surrounded by books etc.

When it comes to starting the day, some of us are like larks and love the mornings.  We feel alive and, after a good night's sleep, ready to embrace the day with energy and enthusiasm.  There are others who are clearly not morning people; sometimes they are like bears with a sore head. Grumpy, grim and grouchy.  They seem to growl with displeasure when they have to get out of bed.  They are often like owls, who are at the best late in the day or at night.

Some Christian people advocate an early start to the day with a very early quiet time, time spent in prayer and Bible study.  This can really suit them and prepares them for the day ahead.  They consider this the way to start the day and live the Christian life. But it is dangerous when such people make the early morning quiet time a requirement for all Christians. Some would not benefit from it and would be miserable for the rest of the morning.  Some Christians would be better off getting enough sleep and then finding the best time of the day for them, a time that suits their bodily metabolism.

I knew a Christian who got up at 5 o'clock in the morning for his quiet time. He really should have had more sleep, because he was irritable and tetchy for the rest of the day.  When he came home from work the whole household would tense up. The dog retreated into his kennel and the children, who had been playing happily, made themselves scarce.  He should have had some sleep or a rest then. But he seemed to want to moan and make life difficult for others.

Whether we rise early or late, I have found it best to talk to God first before I talk to others.  In some way I like to start the day by thanking God for His goodness, loving kindness and mercies which are new every morning.  Sometimes it is good to write out my prayers and reflections in a journal.  This works for me, but I will never say this is the only way.  I have no right to inflict this way on others.  My way does not make me better than other men.

The parable of the Pharisee and the publican should warn us against pride, arrogance and pomposity.  I thank Thee that I am not like other men... I....I... NO!  I should be humble.  God be merciful to me a sinner.
The church is a hospital for sinners and not a gymnasium for super saints.

Earlier this morning I started my day with a delicious glass of Copella apple juice.

 It made me happy.  I'm glad I had one of the five recommended portions of fruit and vegetables.  It tasted good, but I'm not going to make others do likewise.

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