RISING UP EARLY: A VIRTUE TO BE CULTIVATED
Beginning a day early with God is a good ‘starter’, it nourishes the soul, elevates the spirit and set the body on course to accomplish God’s desire for the day.
My observation and experience with young ladies these days have raised this burden of the necessity of challenging you to do all it takes to cultivate this virtue. Many young ladies, whose parents especially mothers, have laboured on while growing up to cultivate this virtue of starting the day early with God, often loose this as they pass through the institution of higher learning.
Life on our campuses does not compel anyone to rise up early to have a sense of responsibility or to do any chores early in the morning. Lecturers mostly start at 8:00 am. And if a girl rises by 6:30 am to be with her Lord till about 7:30 am before having her bath and setting out for the lecture hall, she considers herself as doing very well without any sense loss. This feeling is being sufficient in this wake-up time remains throughout her stay on the campus, during the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme and as long as this lady remains single in her own apartment, where she does not take any responsibility for anybody apart from herself.
The problem with 6:00 am or even later begins to show when this young lady enters into marriage. There is now a family to cater for, even if it is only herself and her husband.
Our Lord Jesus showed us an example of rising up early before daybreak to pray and to ‘reason’ with His Father to start His day (Mark 1:35). If you will be like Him, you will have to follow this example to walk in His steps
PROBLEMS WHICH ARISES WITH RISING UP LATE
- Many families have either resolved to forfeit breakfast as a possibility or they resort to snacks (junks which do the body more evil than good). This is because the ‘mother in the house’ has never learnt to rise up early to have her time with the Lord and still have enough time left to prepare some meal for her family. Breakfast has however been proven as the best meal for the day by the World Health Organization (WHO). Article review on the internet by Mary L. Garvin MD Sept 2012.
Researchers have shown that intelligent quotient (IQ) of children that eat breakfast is higher than that of those who do ‘drive’ their bodies on the reserved energy for the previous day. Adults who eat breakfast have also been found to have better productivity and output than those who do not. Our society, therefore, has less viable and productive individuals just because young ladies who become wives and mothers have not cultivated these virtues of rising up early.
- Several mothers/wives always wish to take this responsibility of preparing meals for their family members to start the day, but since she has not learnt to rise up early, there is a big struggle. She now gives up some things to be done in the morning at the cost of another. Most of the time, it is her time with the Lord that suffers. The spiritually vibrant young lady before marriage now becomes spiritually dry. It is quickly concluded by such ladies, when they have not made a correct assessment of their situation, that marriage is doing her more evil than good. The bottom line actually is that she has never learnt to rise up early to start her day so that there could be enough time left to cater for her family before leaving the home for the day’s job.
Such mothers who have learnt to wake up early will never be able to train their own daughters to do the same. The cycle continues to the point that our society lacks viably productive individuals and the Church lacks spiritually strong enough women who can be pillars on which their homes and the Church of God could rest. The critical role of women of sound spiritual stand as God’s burden-bearer may completely disappear from the Church in our time just because of this lack of training to rise early.
- Women who have not learnt to rise up early become perpetual latecomer to their place of work. Their children are also latecomers at school. The embarrassment that comes from the punishment inflicted on the children every time as late may set up a psychological balance in these children. The woman herself may just get fed up with herself, not knowing where to focus or turn to solve her problems. She gets ‘on edge’, becomes ‘touchy’ and irritable. Rather than be a blessing to her home, she is now more of a nuisance to the family members because of her attitude most mornings. She also paints a picture of an irresponsible person at her place of work and worse still an irresponsible Christian.
THE WAY OUT OUT Do you find yourself already in this mess and you wonder how to find help? Try the following:
- Pray earnestly and sincerely, opening up your wretchedness and need to God, who can still ‘make you’ in this area.
- Plead with the Holy Spirit to wake you up at the right time early in the morning. When He does, get up and away from your bed to avoid the temptation of falling back to sleep.
- Plunge your life deliberately into discipleship relationship that affords you the space of leaving in a home where you can practically learn how to manage all the necessary ends of womanhood together. i.e. to rise up early and pray and have a good time with the Lord, clean the house, make breakfast, get the children ready for school etc. Seeing this practically and opening your heart to learn from such a home before having your own home will help. Titus 2:3-5 encourages the teaching of younger women by the older ones.
- You may need the use of an alarm device. Set your alarm before going o bed and put it in a place where you cannot just stretch your hand to switch it up. If you are married, you have to plead with your husband who will also be disturbed by this alarm. Make him see your struggle and desire to make amends.
- Sleep early. It is more difficult to rise up early if you have slept late.
May the Lord help you.
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