What does your typical day yield for you? Stress? Anxiety? Lack of motivation? Procrastination?
I think most of us suffer from all of the above, but our hearts long to have a day filled with peace, joy and the ability to focus and work efficiently.
So what’s the secret? How do you transition from chaos to serenity?
The answer is simpler than you may think…
Yesterday, I had the privilege of hearing a speaker from Gospel for Asia at a church I’ve never attended before. I’d been looking forward to this event all week.
Unfortunately, Husband and I woke late. I rushed to shower, rushed to get dressed, rushed through breakfast and scrambled into the car. Then we sped down the highway to get to the service on time.
And the anxiety set in.
My heart was beating harder than it should have. The fast images of trees and cars passing by the windshield hurt my eyes and added to the panic.
Upon arriving at the church, we entered the dark sanctuary with the first song already playing. The stage was lit with blue lights reflecting off squares of white boards and the music was a full-on band with electric guitars and loud drums.
I’m not opposed to full-band style worship – but at that moment, my anxiety continued to build. I had to look away from the stage as the lights and busy atmosphere added to my distress. The music pounded in my head and I was not able to worship.
And I spent the rest of the day trying to bring the anxiety down and fighting off the resulting exhaustion. Eating sugar to ‘feel alive’ and crashing even harder than before.
Not exactly a ‘day of rest’.
On the flip side, one morning last week I lingered in bed a little before getting up. I chose not to shower before our school time and instead hung out in my pajamas all morning. By noon, I finally showered and dressed and tried to catch up on housework – to no avail.
My day ended up being a write off as I battled to stay awake and gave up any inkling to seek out motivation.
Both of these experiences in the last week have proved what I already knew to be true:
The first hour of your day sets the tone for all the other hours to follow.
I used to laugh at my mother, who insists on taking an hour in the morning to get ready to go anywhere. I boasted that I could shower, dress and eat in twenty minutes.
But now I see… she gets it. She knows it’s more than just dressing and eating. It’s truly about ‘getting ready’ for your day.
She seeks the Lord and reads His word – with time to reflect, not just a rushed-through reading.
She sips and enjoys her coffee, in a calm, slow manner.
She eats slowly – taking the time to enjoy her food and be thankful for it.
And by the time she heads out the door, she is already at peace and the tone of her day is set.
She starts out ‘ahead’ instead of trying to catch up all day long. She is focussed on God and on eternal things, not on herself and deadlines.
So from now on, I will try to set the tone of my day a little differently. Even if it means getting up earlier, and going to bed on time.
I want to live my life – not plow through it.