Over recent years I’ve heard many pastors and others telling us that the first thing we should do each morning is read our bibles and pray. They also tell us that we should do the same before going to sleep at night. Just this morning I noticed a Facebook post that said I should read my bible before reading Facebook.
This minister, that is, I myself, respectfully disagree. Though there may be many who can jump out of bed each morning, fully alert and ready to take on the day, I am not one of them. I would concede that I may have been able to do that when I was younger. Now, not at all.
For many years, one of the problems I was plagued with, was not learning to keep my mouth shut until I had fully awakened. This problem, in turn, resulted in many loud discussions with my wife. It has taken me quite a few years to learn to keep quiet until I am fully awake, but I think I’m getting better at it. Like anything else, I’ve slipped a few times, but overall I think I’ve made some great progress; thanks to God’s help.
On average, I would say it takes me from 30 to 45 minutes to wake up. I will normally fill that time scrolling Facebook while having several cups of coffee. I will also attempt not to engage any of my family members in conversation and likewise attempt to avoid speaking to them. No, the best thing for all concerned is that I keep my mouth shut until I am fully awake.
Now, here’s my point. I truly believe that God desires and deserves our full attention. I don’t think it’s fair to God, to give Him anything less than that, as well as our full alertness. I don’t think we should be half asleep while praying or engaging in daily devotions and bible reading.
The same goes for bedtime as well. While there are times that I do read my bible before laying down for the night, I don’t consider that time as a devotional or study time. I usually will read a single chapter or simply a verse or two. Many times, my intent is to read to memorize specific verses. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I was apparently in the wrong line when God was passing out the gift of good memory. I must work twice as hard to remember things and I am not always successful.
While I may have a rough go of it in the mornings, I’m a bit better prior to hitting the sack at night. However, I still feel that my alertness is impaired and I don’t want to give God only a portion of myself. I don’t want to give God only half a prayer; if you know what I mean. God deserves our complete attention and alertness.
Anytime we’re tired and our alertness is diminished, we will likely find it difficult to focus on the simplest of tasks. Often, the first line of my nightly prayer is to ask God to help me focus; to not allow my thoughts to wander as I’m praying. In fact, it is more difficult for me to focus in the late evening than it is in the morning.
My doctors yet have not found a way to shut-down my brain at night. My brain seems to think that my sleep-time is its work-time. My pre-sleep period is filled with thousand different movie-trailer-like scenes. I struggle to quiet my mind. I pray for God’s help. However, I must say that bedtime, or even near to it, is not an appropriate time for me to devote to Lord Jesus and to God.
So, I wish to share my experience in the hope that others would realize that perhaps they should spend a few moments scrolling through Facebook first thing in the morning instead of trying to give a half-attempted devotion to God. I don’t owe Facebook anything. If I spend 30 minutes cruising Facebook while half asleep in the early morning hours, I’m sure I’m not missing much; no offense to my FB friends, for I know Facebook will keep showing me the same posts in their poor attempt to brain-wash me. Lol.
God gives each of His children His full and undivided attention (in one way or another,) every day. Our God deserves our full and alert attention. Please don’t look at any structure in our lives as unchangeable. If for some reason, you’re tired or exhausted; and it’s your devotion time, consider changing it up. Give God all that He deserves.
Reading the bible first thing in the morning may not be the way to go for millions of people. Don’t short-change yourself and certainly don’t short-change God. Get out of bed. Have some coffee or juice. Scroll through your Facebook news feed. When you’re fully awake and alert, praise God; and give Him your full and undivided attention.