Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Four in the Morning

0400 or 4 a.m. is not my normal waking hour.  It's truly a time for the birds.  At this time a year it is still dark.  I am up regularly by six and hard at work on a normal day.  5:30 isn't difficult, but 4?  Four in the morning is hard.  I am not used to it, I value my sleep and the only reason I am up at 4 a.m. is because I am sick, or my brain goes into overdrive.

This particular morning, 4 a.m. had my brain in overdrive.  There wasn't a moment that my brain did not having me worrying about my parenting skills, my job, my move, my life, my health.  At four in the morning, small issues become big issues. At four in the morning, there is no one to talk to, and nothing to do but get up.

On the upside, at four in the morning, my brain is fully alert by this point.  I blew through some work that I needed to do and was able to knock out my run before anyone in my house was up.  I felt accomplished early and this helps me get through the day.  My run was vitally important with so many worries going through my brain. My run was my outlet for my anxiety.  As this particular
Internet meme reflects, my run "keeps my crazy at bay."

And I find it so easy to pray when I run.  I'm not really sure why but physical activity brings me closer to God.  I can hand over those concerns and wrestle with God on my run to see me through to solutions or peace.  At four in the morning, this lets me face my family with a normal set of emotions that prevent me from flying off the handle when my emotional state is already high.

It's not so much that I think four in the morning is the magical time, because I know I would have preferred to be asleep, but I am struck how nice it is to get up, and take care of myself, my prayer, my exercise and my work before anyone else is stirring.  It's nice because I don't feel conflicted about my time and it seems to allow me to feel less rushed throughout the day.  Scheduling and making things a priority in your life can pay off in a big way.  Give it a try for several days and see if you notice a change in your attitude and your energy.

And at four in the morning, when I've gotten up when it's dark and quiet, I'm able to see the sun rise.  It's like having my own personal "Good morning" from God and the message is clear:  Even with the anxieties of my night, God says to me, "You've got this."