by Christina Harman
Mornings can be excruciating, especially if it happens to be a Monday morning, and particularly if you’ve spent most of the night poring over textbooks instead of studying the back of your eyelids. That snooze alarm is just so annoying, but you know it’s right. You need to snap out of Dreamland, get up and at ‘em, and somehow keep your 100-lb eyelids pried open for a whole day of fast- approaching deadlines. How? With the help of an ever-faithful friend. Hellooooo, caffeine!
Some choose soda, some tea, and some even down those gag reflex-activating energy drinks. My personal morning priority? Good old, straight up black coffee. If I really need to get a move-on, that’s what I grab. The rush of caffeine, then I’m good to go! Bring. It. On.
But, wait. Screech to a halt. Am I really prepared to face this new day? Does a caffeinated drink actually equip me for the next 24 hours of my life? Well... not completely.
Coffee is tasty, but when it comes to giving perspective on the day, it’s lacking. Caffeine may clear the grogginess of sleep, but it doesn’t point to the One who turned death into a mere slumber and who gives us eternal life. Our physical bodies may be slightly addicted to caffeine, but our very souls are completely and utterly dependent on the work of Someone Else. Like the woman at the well, what we really need every single day is not an earthly beverage, but the Living Water.
There are many blessings we each rely on to get us through the day, but in the course of a normal morning, there is no greater gift than God’s Word. I have to admit it’s something I struggle with every day. We live in a fast-paced, jam-packed, gotta-run world, and it’s so easy to push Him aside. I have to ask myself: How much time each morning do I spend in front of the mirror trying to make myself look halfway presentable? (Yes, it does take awhile!) And how much time do I spend in the morning in God’s Word? ...And, remind me again...Which of these is more important? Yeah. Oops. Thought so. “But I’m running late!!” I usually think. Well, yes, but who gave us time to begin with? My to-do list may be freakishly long, but it’s time to put first things first.
How about you? Would you try to face the day without wiping the sleep out of your eyes, combing your hair, or getting dressed? Would you start your morning without some sort of beverage, whether regular or decaf? Of course not. Well, why would you try to face the day without the Lord’s Word? A lot of life is about priorities, and there is no higher goal than starting the morning with your Savior, Jesus Christ. And while the health factor of caffeine-filled drinks is questionable, the blessings of meditating on God’s Word every day are undeniable.
So roll out of bed a bit earlier if you have to. Make the sign of the cross, remembering the saving waters of your holy baptism, when God made you His child. Hear from Him in His Word, and ask for His care and guidance throughout the upcoming day. Ask Him to send you out as the baptized child you are. You know yourself well enough to figure out what you’re up for in the morning. Whatever you do, choose something that can become a habit. It doesn’t matter if you pray a psalm, read a couple of chapters in the Bible, or check out the Higher Things Daily Reflections. Try to pick a routine and stick with it.
Of course, that goal may sound great in theory now, but as your Road Runner-esque mornings rush by, will you actually take time for personal devotions every single day for the rest of your entire life? Probably not: You’re a sinner. All of us constantly mix up our priorities—despite our best intentions. So often we fail at setting aside time to read God’s Word. But there’s good news: Your Savior is never tired, rushed, or pressed for time. No matter how often you’ve forgotten God in the past, no matter how many times you will blow Him off in the future, Christ chose YOU as His top priority, and will always choose YOU as His top priority. And He is always advocating for you at the right hand of the Father. Now there’s a realization far more satisfying than the rush of caffeine.
Christina Harman is a coffee-addicted music teacher from Minnesota. If you’d like to make a contribution to her Starbucks habit, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.