I’m going to talk about a subject that is very controversial and might get me in a little trouble (I’m not unfamiliar). But it’s something that I’ve come to believe very strongly. It’s the topic of spending time with God, or having a “quiet time,” at the beginning of the day versus doing it at the end of the day.
First of all, let me say right away that the most important thing is that we carve out a time just for God, whether we choose to do it in the morning or in the evening. We should walk and talk with Him all the time, but the days go much better if we devote a time during the day just for Him. Some call it a quiet time. Others of us may call it something else. The bible talks about spending time with God “early.” If you typically sleep until 11:00, that’s your “early.” My point is not so much about being early according to the clock as much as it is about the start of the day.
My time with God has a way of putting everything in clearer perspective for me. It allows me, on the front end, to set my mind and keep it set, as the bible suggests. For instance, when I’m thankful for things in my life, and I spend time thanking God in the morning, it makes it easier for me to recognize what’s really important as things come up throughout the course of my day. This holds true whenever we choose to do this, but my grateful response seems to be a bit quicker when I do it before my full day begins.
Choosing to do this in the morning seems to put us in good company, too. The bible even tells us that Jesus, himself, woke up early to pray (Mark 1:35). And His disciples and followers did this early, too (Luke 21:38). Even Abraham rose early (Genesis 19:27). Rising early to do this is all throughout scripture.
Remember the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery to be stoned? Jesus had been teaching mercy His whole ministry. But the law required that she be stoned. The Pharisees thought they had finally cornered Jesus. If Jesus said she shouldn’t be stoned, He would be breaking the law. But if Jesus said she should be stoned, He would be going against everything He’d been teaching. Jesus knelt down and drew in the dirt. The bible doesn’t say anything about what He drew in the sand. I believe He was just doodling to kill time so that He could hear from God. Becoming impatient with Him, they pressed Him to answer the question. He stood up and said, “Let any one of you without sin cast the first stone.” Wow! Wisdom at work! Of course, they hung their heads in defeat and left. I believe Jesus was able to hear from God in that moment because their line of communication was already open. He talked to God all the time. It was His habit, scripture tells us, to wake up and pray.
Spending time with God in the morning allows me tackle the day with eyes wide open. As I said before, it is so important that we set our minds and keep them set so that we’re prepared when things arise throughout each day. If you must do it at the end of the day, so be it. But doing this on the front end of the day seems to work for me. And if the first of the day is good enough for Jesus, I think it’s good enough for me.