CHILDREN OF THE MORNING

J. Grant Swank, Jr.

While spending some time on vacation with friends, I noted how upbeat they were each morning.  Our hosts were cheerful with comments about the new day, asking about our rest in the night, and setting their sights on our plans for the day.  They were simply happy.

With that kind of start, we anticipated the rest of the day with excitement.  We knew that we would not have a dull moment.  And sure enough, we didn’t.

The couple was in their eighties. And in all the years I had known them, they were consistent: I could always count on their happiness to brighten up a day.

One of their secrets was laughter.  It did not take much to hear them break into a genuine outburst of laughter.  Before long, all of us were drawn into their mirth.  After all, “this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm ll8:24).

Singles–young ones in particular–can learn valuable lessons from older believers, even couples.  At some time in their lives, they too were single.

Such a simple ingredient as laughter–but what a difference it makes. This elderly couple lit up the dawn with their smiles.

It is delightful to be around people like that. We all want to have others encourage us.  We gravitate toward those friends who can see what is going right with the morning.

Believers begin each day with the Morning Star. Jesus revealed to John on the island of Patmos that he himself is “the bright Morning Star.”

Therefore, to get the most out of each day, start with Jesus on your mind.  Invite him into your thoughts. He will welcome your invitation.

Others with whom you live may begin their days with grumbling. They may be gloomy pessimists.  You may be able to influence them, pointing them toward the light you have discovered in Jesus. If so, then you will have reflected more of Heaven’s radiance in your own household.

Be persistent in discovering Jesus at the start of every day.  This is so particularly if you tend to look on the dark side of things. Then you will want to give an extra push to changing your thoughts toward the light.  It can be done with a bit of forethought.

As soon as you come out of sleep, say to yourself that you are going to give the first few moments to the grace of God.  Focusing on him will begin to shape your attitudes.  It is the start of fresh happiness.

The weather does not matter. Nor does it matter what duties await you.  It is your invitation to the Morning Star, Jesus, that will overpower circumstances. Indeed it will begin to form your outlook about those circumstances.

Refrain from listening to the news when you first awaken.  Many news items are dealing with violence, war, financial woes, and the like.  Your mind as a believer does not need this as its first focus on the day.

Many people do not realize that their entire day can be clouded over because of the negative start they get from the depressing news reports they listen to at dawn. Why do we do this to ourselves?  It is not necessary. We are not less responsible citizens if we do not do this.

Sometime later in the day you can catch up with what has happened in the world during the preceding 24 hours, but why start your day with this news?

Redirect your morning routine to center on Jesus and his shining presence in your life. Thank him for watching over you through the night. Tell him that you trust his care during this new day. Focus on God’s happiness in you.

Then you will be ready for the new day.

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