Photo courtesy of Cris Saur/Unsplash

How do you wake up? Some of us are alarm-setting, jump right out of bed people. Others are snooze button pushers.

Most days I wake up with a dog’s face looming above me. He’s not allowed on the bed, but he’s tall enough to stand beside the bed frame and stare down.

There is no snooze button on him.  I’ve checked.

More important than how we physically rouse ourselves from sleep each morning is our mental or spiritual way of starting a new day.

A friend uses the example of saying the same three words in a different order and a reversed mindset. Donna says you can either smile and say, “Good morning, God!” Or you can frown at the world in general and mutter, “Good god, morning.”

A former rector of my church frequently encouraged our congregation to start the day by sitting up and firmly planting our feet on the floor while saying, “Just think; I have one more day.”

It was up to us to fill in how we would use our one more day.

Popular speaker and motivational coach Hal Elrod says we set the tone for our entire day by how we use our early morning. His “Miracle Morning” is summed up in an acronym of the second word of the phrase Life SAVERS.

Silence     Affirmations    Visualization    Exercise    Reading    Scribing (writing)

Many people start the day with radio or television news. Some of my friends say, “Oh, it’s just background noise.” I have a challenge for those who start the day this way. Really listen to a half hour of news with the idea of analyzing it. It’s nearly always negative, and the newscasters will spin it any way they can to hyper-sensationalize it.

Do we really want to start our days with stories on murder, rape, robbery, hate crimes, abductions, and corruption?

Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage) has studied the effect of filling our minds day after day with the worst the world has to offer. We begin to believe that this is the reality of our life and times. Our frame of reference has been skewed heavily to negative events. It’s ALL bad, ALL the time. So how can we expect to be happy about anything?

Yes, absolutely, bad stuff happens. Every day. And I’m not saying that I don’t care about what goes on in the world. I can read printed news in the middle of the day, using my own filters instead of listening to the “if it bleeds, it leads” hype of live news anchors.

So what’s my mental/spiritual way of opening my eyes? It’s quite short, no clever acronym here.

I simply say once, “This is the Lord’s day.”  That grounds me. It’s not Saturday or Tuesday. It’s not Norma’s day. It’s not a “Gosh, I have much to do today” day.

Short and oh so sweet, it is the Lord’s day…and that leads me to discern how I can best fill this new day in relationship to my faith.

If you think you don’t have time for a short morning ritual, remember that taking even a few minutes to consider your positive purpose can improve your entire day.

What a fantastic investment.

To my readers: Do you have a wake-up call to share with other readers?