Am I ashamed of the Gospel? Not anymore. But I am ashamed of how I’ve neglected my New Year Resolution #6. Now that we’ve reached the mid year mark, it’s the time to take stock of my resolutions before it’s too late!
New Year Resolution 1: God
I’m re-cultivating the habit of morning prayer as a symbol and reminder to start everything with God.
As of this moment, I’m happy that I’m back on track with my morning prayer (except today because it’s Sunday which is sleep-in day…) Waking up early hasn’t been easy. I started the year with morning prayer/quite time and then shifted to night time for most part of the year. I don’t think God gives more merits to which part of the day we set aside for Him because ALL of our day belongs to Him anyway and but I realise a few pros and cons –
Pros – There are less distraction as my mind hasn’t been bogged down by the day’s busyness. Also because of “time limitation” (I eventually need to go to get off the bible to go to work), I am more mindful in making every minute counts therefore less distracted.
Cons – There were few instances when I had to read the verses a few times to digest because my brain was still loading in the morning and the urge to fall back to sleep is very strong.
Pros – There’s no time limit! I could pray, worship, have a long meditation on God’s words. It’s nice to dwell in God’s presence limitless and because it’s the end of the day, there are more things to be thankful for and to talk to God about.
Cons – Sometimes I ended up giving Him leftover of my time and rush through my prayer because I want to sleep.
At this point, I want to commit myself to spending time with Him in the morning because it is harder for me to wake up earlier than to sleep later to pray. I am not setting myself up for failure but I want to do something that would change my day and shake up my priorities. In order to wake up early I have to sleep early which means I have to be at home earlier than I normally would. By choosing to have a morning time with God it makes me include Him in the decisions I make during the course of the day – e.g. when going out with friends “If I go for more drinks, I would be in bed late and I probably can’t wake up early next day”.
I’m not saying morning quiet time is better than night quiet time. But if I were to quote King David’s “I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” , the more we effort we put into spending time with God, the more we grow from the experience of sacrifice*. It’s just like spending time with friends or loved ones. The more effort you put into the relationships, the bigger the trouble you went to help someone the more likely the recipient will be touched. Of course it has to be out of sincerity, not a grouching heart. Imagine someone doing you a favour and he/she rubbing it in your face or humble brag about it – that’s really annoying.
I may not have re-cultivated the morning prayer habit a 100% but I’m on my way and as long as I’m still trying I think it’s a good sign.
*Spending time with God regardless time of day is a privilege and honour, not a burdensome sacrifice. I’m human. I battle with the urge to sleep or to be disciplined but in the end, I know it’s a joy to be invited to spend time with God.