The world is different at 5 AM.
Quiet. Still. Hopeful. Unsullied. (Insert satisfying, deep breath here.) Peaceful.
I guess that's why I enjoy my early mornings so very much. (When the "internal alarm clock" routinely goes off before dawn, you need to find positives. Smile.)
But I can't really say I mind.
It's like all the world belongs to me, Jesus and two silly dogs. Time isn't an issue. There's plenty before I have to get moving. So I drink in the luxury afforded. Sitting. Pondering. Reading. Praying. Listening. Breathing.
The two loudest noises are the air conditioner kicking on and dog tags clinking as one of the mutts shakes her head. Occasionally, I can hear someone snoring or even talking in their sleep. That causes a little smile.
I think early mornings allow me to come back to center. Eastern religions teach the importance of meditation. And while their focus is skewed, the basic concept is true; taken from Scripture.
"....my soul waits for You in the night watches...." ".....You are brighter than the morning star...." "...early will I seek You...." "....in quietness and confidence will be my strength..." "I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me...."
Once the television and I-pod and telephone get going, peace becomes more elusive. But in those delicious few moments before everyone and everything else takes over, it is quiet.
And solitude truly breeds calm.
Granted, some days it is a discipline. The demands of the coming day and the press of unfinished business can scream loudly in the darkness.
But when I intentionally choose my thoughts. When I dictate the recording in my head. When I rehearse truth and promises - the giants of doubt disappear.
In their place remains an assurance. Nothing is going to happen today that God and I can't handle together.
Next time you find yourself awake earlier than you'd like, join me won't you? It just may become your favorite time too.