By Dan Martella, Retired Pastor
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place where he prayed.
If there is one thing that gets America up and going in the morning, it is coffee.
There is something about the smell, the quiet moments alone or with friends, and the caffeine jolt that fires us up for the day.
Sixty four percent of Americans drink coffee every single day. Usually three cups. The average American spends $1,097 a year on their cup of Joe. Except for water, we drink more coffee than anything else.
The problem is this: The morning lift we get from our coffee is artificial.
It temporarily stimulates the central nervous system, arouses brain function, and elevates mood – for a little while. And then the trap door gives out and we get fuzzy all over again. So, we drink another cup to feed the addiction.
In the story of Jesus found in Mark 1:35, we are introduced to something far better than coffee for starting our day.
Somewhere between 3:00 and 4:00 each morning, Jesus would get up, get dressed, and quietly slip out of the house to a favorite quiet spot to enjoy quality, focused, and uninterrupted time with God. It was his lifeline. His way of starting the day. His way of fueling the sheer stamina needed to do life and ministry.
If Jesus needed that kind of type of stillness in His life, we need it even more.
Like Jesus, we need a regular time for personal devotions. Like Jesus, we need a regular place to meet with God. Like Jesus, we need a deep conversation with our Heavenly Father that sets the pace for the whole day. Like Jesus, we just need to be still. To know our God in a deep, abiding kind of way.
When we drink deeply from the cup of communion with God each morning, our day will be filled with something far better than coffee – our day will be filled with the abiding presence of Jesus.
Gratitude is a great way to start your day as a family. During worship, breakfast, or your morning commute together (or all of the above!) take time to say "Good morning, Lord! Thank You so much for..." (This is a conversation or journal prompt - your choice!)
Choosing to be grateful first thing in the morning can change the whole course of your day - and your family's day. In the evening, reflect as a family about how an attitude of gratitude positively fueled your day.
Bonus Prompt: Sing the song "Whisper a Prayer" together.
Lord, our family needs Your presence in our lives morning, noon, and night. We need You to fuel the activities of our days, to fill us with Your wisdom, strength, endurance, grace, and forgiveness. Keep filling our hearts with gratitude. And show us God in Your way. Amen.