My typical wake-up routine goes something like this: alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Alarm goes off again. Hit snooze again. Alarm goes off again. Realize I NEED to wake up. Grab phone. Check texts. Check email. Check Facebook. Check Instagram. Check Whatsapp. Get up. Potty. Coffee. Brush teeth. Contacts. Shower. Dressed. Pack lunch. More coffee. Get in car. Buckle up. Back out of driveway. Pray during commute.
***insert sound of DJ stopping record abruptly here***
Wait a minute. Let’s count here. My first thoughts of God for the day come AFTER 23 (or more) other priorities? This is not cool, friends. Not cool at all. And to think I was “proud” of myself for “remembering” to pray “first thing” in the morning! *embarrassed face* When I saw this quote today on my IG feed (after my morning prayer, thank goodness — oh, and go follow @partyoftwelve), I was completely convicted:
“We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers…The Devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of all the rest.”
— St. John Vianney
Ideally, my husband wakes us both up about 30 minutes earlier than normal. He makes us coffee, and we pray and read the morning readings together. It is wonderful when we remember to do it, but even then, I realize that I have still spent the first ten minutes of quality time on my phone first.
Why? Why is it that my first compulsive need when I wake up is to get caught up on what happened while I was asleep? Are everyone’s late-night and insomnia-fueled posts really so riveting that I simply must read them before I even put my feet on the floor? Or for that matter, why is my phone the last thing I touch at night? Even when I do set time aside to read Scripture or finish a Rosary, I still usually look at my phone one more time before actually going to sleep. I tell myself it’s to make sure my alarm is set, but truth be told I often forget that’s why I pick up the phone in the first place. I inevitably sit it down after one more round of Facebook stalking, only to scoop it back up to double-check the alarm time.
I’m very much a baby-steps kinda girl. I usually experience much more success with a project or new habit when I ease myself into it, a bit at a time (“Learning to Love the Rosary”.) I’m thinking that maybe, my first baby step towards a day ordered immediately to God might be to ditch the cell phone alarm. I first started using my cell phone as an alarm when Superman was deployed to Afghanistan. My cell phone became a part of my body, because I never knew when he might get a chance to call, and I certainly didn’t want to miss it if he did. My phone was on 24/7, and sat on my nightstand every night. I still do this, though I am not sure why. I don’t have teens who might call in the middle of the nights, my husband is not deployed, and my London-living folks are six hours ahead and wouldn’t call me in the dead of night anyway. So what’s my excuse for not ditching the cellular alarm? Yeah, I don’t really have one…
I’m thinking of digging out the Abbey Road alarm clock I bought when I visited London earlier this year. It’s an old-fashioned wind-up model, and pretty much one of the coolest souvenirs ever. I can leave my cell phone in another room to charge, and maybe that ringing bell will remind me to begin my day a little differently.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen (one of my homeboys) once said, “There are two ways of waking up in the morning: one is saying ‘Good morning, God,’ and the other is ‘Good God, it’s morning?’” Too often, I greet the day with the second phrase, and I am hoping to take a positive step to change that. What does your morning routine look like? Are you a little better than I am at putting God first in your day?