When Waking Up Takes Heroic Effort
Like most people, I think the hardest moment of my day is the first. Monday to Friday (along with the odd Saturday and Sunday) we all dread it… that moment when the alarm starts blaring to start us in motion. There really must be a more humane way to start the day.
Every day the temptation is overwhelming… the desire to hit the snooze button, or even better – just turn the alarm off, roll over and forget for a few more precious minutes that the world and its worries exists. Especially in the dark days of winter when there are still hours to go before the sun shows its shining face.
I could… very easily I could… but I don’t.
Recently I heard this moment referred to as the Heroic Moment, called such as a testament to the heroic effort that is needed to get out of bed each morning.
I have found that the amount of heroism needed to get oneself going comes down to the first thought that goes through my mind… Do I wake up saying:
Good morning God!
Good God, it’s morning!
The order and the tone make all the difference as to how the rest of the day is going to pan out. I also find this helps give me the push to persevere in my morning prayer life, my struggles with which I’ve written about here before.
From this point, I dedicate my day to God through Christ.
Stumbling to the kitchen, where I charge my phone overnight, I begin my morning routine with a morning offering prayer. Although there are a few different versions of the same prayer, I have gotten into the habit of using one from the Laudate app:
Oh my Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day.
For all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my family, friends and relatives,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
I find this self-centering at the very beginning of my day sets me off on the right foot, ready to meet the trials of the day with God’s grace.
Do I meditate on my morning offering constantly throughout the day? No. With the challenges that the vocations of husband, father and educator bring, I’m often pulled in many different directions, my mind occupied by daily trivialities. What offering my day to God, in its prayers, works, joys and sufferings, from the moment I awake does is give me a focal point to return to. When my mind gets sidetracked, when the daily grind starts to take its toll, when I enter into the sufferings of human life, a quick reminder that even these I have offered to God allows me to restart again, a reboot in God’s grace, so that I may persevere.
How hard life must be for those who do not have this faith foundation.
This is why every morning when the alarm blares I’m able to joyfully proclaim: Good morning God!