Morning Rituals

**The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ** Psalm 27:1

Psalm 27 begins with a declaration of faith, courage and clarity. It shows to me that David determined to not start out his days with fears or doubts, nor with the idea that he would stay hidden from his enemies or his problems. I think we can learn much from all of this.

How do we begin our days? With anxieties, fears, expecting the worse? Or maybe we start out angry, ready to start an argument the moment we wake up? Maybe we just roll over and refuse to face the day.

It seems to me that David made some decisions on how he was going to start out each new day. It is true that David spent much of his time running from or hiding from his enemies. But he didn’t seem to let that take over his emotions and faith in God all the time. He didn’t live with a lot of bitterness or spend a lot of time plotting revenge. The threat was real from his enemies and he did what he could to escape, but he knew that it was the LORD who was protecting him and his job was to just wait for him to straighten things out.

We certainly do hear much from him about asking the LORD to deliver him from them, but he didn’t seem to make it a habit to let his circumstances overwhelm him. He held onto his faith and put everything into God’s hands. He knew that God had anointed him to be King, but he also let God make the decisions on how, when, and where his kingdom would begin or be restored. David lived to honor God and defend Israel. But he did not live to defend his throne. Nor would he fight back against God’s chosen ones or against his own family.

Both Psalm 26 and Psalm 27 give us some great ideas on how to start our days and the kind of mindset we should have. Will we begin our days strong in faith or will we start them fearful, stressed, overwhelmed and anxious?

I know that many times over the years I have not started my days well. But I have learned that if I can start my day with the right focus first thing in the morning, I have a better chance at having a pretty decent day. Sometimes, it is by waking up with gratitude as my first thoughts. Other days, it is getting my morning tea and my Bible and having my quiet time with God before I try to talk to anyone. Sometimes being silent is the best thing that I can muster.

Having the right outlook is important if we are going to live a life of faith. As young Christians, it takes time to build our spiritual character and disciplines. But over time we should not have to battle the weaker parts of our minds and our emotions as often as we did in the early days.

So, let’s all take some extra time this week to do some self examination and see which areas we need to work on. Pick the one that you see yourself challenged with the most often and put it before God in prayer asking him to give you strength and grace to improve on that area. Don’t focus on the problem, though. Focus on your prayer time and studying the life of Jesus and other great examples of faith. How did they deal with cranky people? How did they deal with problematic people? How did they deal with their own shortcomings?

We can see from the Psalms that David’s life also gives us many clues on how to start our day out right. He seemed to always be in one pickle after another, but rarely did he let it dominate his day or his faith. I appreciate David’s candor. It gives me hope that God can use anyone that wants to be close to his heart.

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