The 5:45 Club

Today's post is a call for change in my life and yours.

I've been up since 5:45am. Even as I write this, I empathize with all of you who may have slept fitfully last night through many disruptions by young ones in your home. You may have endless tasks before you today, of which I can empathize as well. You may feel overwhelmed, and the day has not yet even begun--I've been there, and praise God, I want to share a little bit of encouragement with you.

What we treasure and prioritize is evidenced through how we spend our time.

While we seek to have time in the Word each day, sometimes we can lack the sweet fellowship of communing with Him as a steady means of provision, rather than a dutiful reaction to the hectic pace of our lives. I'm perennially burdened for the desire to seek first the Kingdom; and yet, so much of what I communicate with my time is that I prioritize productivity and service (sometimes to the exclusion of abiding.) Susannah Wesley was known to flip her apron over her head in order to have time alone with the Lord amidst raising 10 children. She undoubtedly communicated to her children, that she treasured and needed time alone with the Lord.

Carolyn Mahaney and her three daughters ask these questions in their book Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed

  • Do you plan ahead to maximize your fruitfullness each day, or do you simply let life happen?
  • Do you make choices based on Scripture or on what feels good at the moment?
  • Do you strategize or use your talents to bless you family and church, or do you employ them primarily for your own personal fulfillment?
  • Do you evaluate every opportunity in light of biblical priorities or do you do whatever it takes to get ahead?
  • Do you consider whom God would have you serve, or do you try to please everyone all the time?

Using a biblical, grace-based perspective, Mahaney and her daughters help us prioritize, beginning with rising early to sit at the Lord's feet. Don't be scared--but these ladies have chosen 5am as their wake-up time. No one (including these ladies) physically enjoys waking up early, and yet, all of us can relate to the desperation that results from the busyness of life crowding out fruitful time alone with God. I know I'm not the only one who has felt the diminishing returns of self-sufficiency. I often think I have more freedom when I "see how the day goes," but I'm here to tell you that there is no freedom like consistency and discipline. Consistency and discipline make fertile the soil for spiritual grown, and spiritual growth, in turn, produces greater consistency and discipline.

After much prayer and counting of cost (like a much earlier bedtime!), the tilling of this soil now begins at 5:45am each day. There is no formula for holiness found at that hour, nor anything to prove. It's merely the best way to truly allow my treasure to be aligned with my schedule...to be prepared in my spirit, and ready to serve my family. John Piper reminds us, "The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep. The body does, but not eh heart...We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer." (Little did I know, my dear husband was studying in a similar vein, and preached accordingly yesterday.)

Do you want to join me? We can start a 5:45 club. {grin}

What we make time for reveals what we treasure and what we are dependent upon desperate for. May we recognize the joy of dependence on the Word, and the great strength it gives us to combat sin and glorify the Father.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel for the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."

Psalm 1: 1-3