Faith,  Health & Wellness,  Rest

Morning Has Broken Me: Why Early Peace & Quiet Usually Wins the Daily Struggle Over Sleeping In

As a kid in church, I always liked the tune of the old Christian song, “Morning has Broken,” but I never understood the lyrics. I broke a glass, my sister broke a bone, and a huge earthquake broke three jars of our jam. But how does the morning break?

Now that I’m the size of an adult, I realize it’s more tied to breaking through something, like a surface or a barrier. The sun silently initiates “go-time” and morning has commenced. A light has risen. Something fresh. A new beauty. 

Photo by Dameli Zhantas on Unsplash

Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you and watch expectantly.” (CSB)

The morning hasn’t always been my friend. I would much rather stay buried beneath the weight of my cozy covers and let the sun rise before I do. The Bible speaks of mornings in such a poetic, irresistible way—of course my interest is repeatedly piqued. 

Do I have to spend time with God in the mornings though? Are the afternoons and evenings not quite as meaningful? Spiritual? Satisfying? Of course I want the full experience. If I’m being honest, I want the full benefits too. What does that look like? Do I have to get up before roosters? Before the neighbor who works at Disney and drives out at 3:30 a.m.?

Not gonna happen.

But wait. Just because the Bible talks about spending time with God in the morning doesn’t mean you can’t do the same at night, right? My goal is to always look at things like this from multiple angles, avoiding legalism at all cost. So I let this concept roll around in my prefrontal cortex, fighting the strong desire to stress about doing the “right” thing. 

Whatever that is.

Do I think there’s something magical or supernatural about spending time with Jesus in the mornings? Not necessarily. But do I think there’s something peaceful, appealing and sublime about them? Does it feel like a great way to start the day? Do I feel more prepared to tackle what’s about to be thrown my way for the next 16 hours? 

Yes, times three.

To be clear, I am not an enthusiastic dawn-ish person. I’m slightly better than I used to be, so gold star for me, but my circadian rhythms don’t ever feel quite right. My alarm goes off sometime around o-dark-fifteen, and most days about 80 percent of my body hurts. On the good days it’s only 73 percent. 

I’m also usually irritated with myself for not going to bed earlier the night before, so I do some light self-shaming and then gently slide my joints and ligaments down the edge of the king-size memory foam.

Either way it never feels like morning has properly broken. 

But I guess it depends how you use the word “broken.” There are probably dozens of potential meanings, but by six-something, the morning has most certainly unraveled. Not in a disastrous way—just some self-talk about how I need to chill because even though my body’s slowly falling apart and it feels like there are probably only seven other people awake in my time zone, I still have an embarrassing amount of things to be thankful for.

As much internal whining as I do while the sun quietly reveals itself, I actually love the mornings. Because once I’ve been kind to my bladder, done a couple awkward stretches, boiled some water, and settled in on my heat pack, all I feel is ahhh. And all I hear is nothing. Except for that first bird out on my succulent. You’re welcome here, little buddy. 

Morning has broken like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

Praise for the singing, praise for the morning

Praise for them springing fresh from the Word 

At first I felt like the early mornings broke me in all the wrong ways. Now I feel like they’ve broken through. They’ve helped me break through to a calmer me. Early mornings with no pings, dings, rings or chimes feels and sounds peaceful. 

When nobody else is conscious yet I get no questions, no comments, and no distractions. Just me, Jesus, His Word, and my thoughts. That same silence does not happen at any other time during the day. I’m sure it would if I stayed up past midnight, but at that hour I’ve already completed my first REM cycle and am deeply relaxed. More like catatonic actually, brain and bones alike. 

My world is noisy. I’m guessing yours is too. I didn’t see it coming, but the older I get, the more I crave pure silence.

And that’s what keeps me sliding out of bed at daybreak, looking disastrous on the outside, but thankful on the inside. Morning has broken me—in a life-giving way to be sure. 

How do you feel about mornings? Do you have a specific routine? Tell me in the comments so we can all yawn together.

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