Dear friends, family, fellow commiserators:
I love being up early. I love the freshness of the morning, the peacefulness that prevails when only a few other souls are out and about; I love accomplishing major tasks before the sun even rises, I love SEEING the sun rise, and I deeply enjoy the general good feeling that seems to bless me when I rise up early.
I do not like getting up. I do not like trying to drag myself out from under the heavy, soft, warm blankets that are swathed about me. I do not like the racous and irreverent screech of my phone alarm. I do not appreciate the cold blast of air that hits me when I venture from under the covers. It is not pleasing to me when the laser beam of a light is flicked on and my pupils shrink so fast it gives me a headache.
Every other morning, I attend a "master swim" class at the YMCA at 5:00. This necessitates a 4:00 AM wake-up. I know few others who are up at this hour (Heather...), and the only comfort to me is that they, too, are miserably beginning the process of emerging from the cocoon of sleep, and out into the harsh and unforgiving morn.
Is that how a baby feels when it is born, I thought? Leave me in here, I am so cozy, so warm! But really, you can only be there, in bed, in the womb, for so long before it becomes unhealthy. Your life really can only progress so far, you can only accomplish so much, you can only grow to a certain extent. You need that time of respite, of recovery, of growth, but you need the cold morning to wake you up and get you moving, too. You need the stern decision that you WILL do something with your life, that you ARE going somewhere, that you CAN achieve your goals for the day.
The wisest sage who ever lived, King Solomon, addressed this common problem directly in the Sixth Proverb:
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest-
11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.
Do not lie abed too long and do not mourn the coming of dawn, dear friends, for life waits for no man and it will surely pass you by!
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