What is a morning routine? A morning routine are a set of activities that you do before you start your day. The first hour after you wake up can make or break your day.
It’s 6 am, and the alarm buzzes off. Snooze. Then doze. 15 minutes later. Another buzz. Annoyed you woke up.
If only I could get two more hours of sleep I will rest. If only I could do all the stuff expected of me on time and perfectly I will be happy. If only I could spend more time with my family and friends I will be more peaceful.
You’re looking for happiness, peace and rest. That’s great. But you’re looking for them at wrong places.
Sleep won’t give you rest, productivity doesn’t guarantee happiness and your social life isn’t the path to peace.
The minutes from the moment you open your eyes and they second you open the curtains of your house reveal everything about your priorities.
They tell your personal story with honesty and candidness that cannot be matched: what are your personal values; who’re the people that really matter in your life; where you want to be in the next 20 years.
Your morning routine is simply your personal statement or life plan in 3D. Each morning you act out the things you find meaning, satisfaction, freedom, and identity on your bed, on your phone and in your mind.
You have surrendered your life to things that are temporal. Can your Facebook Reactions sustain you in the day of sorrow? After all, they are reactions, they can’t console you in pain, give you a shoulder when you cry or sing you to sleep when you mourn.
I had to make amends when I discovered how I have surrendered my life to things that do not matter really. I was listening to The Practice The Presence of God by Brother Lawrence when a thought struck me, “Why am I not experiencing the peace of God in every aspect of my life?”
This Is the Worst Morning Routine You Ever Seen
A quick audit of my morning routine revealed a sad state of my spiritual life. I was spiritually lukewarm. Forget the encouraging posts I wrote, the people God reached through the words He gave me. I was a mess.
This is what I found.
4:00 am– I wake up and pounce on my phone
4:10 am– I am checking my emails
4:30 am– I open Pocket and read recommended articles
5:00 am– I write between 800 and 1,000 words for this blog
6:00 am– I go to Inbound.org and read new questions and answers on content creation and marketing
6:30 am– I open Facebook and WhatsApp, read through the posts, comments, and messages
7:00 am– I am tired and need to catch a nap but open Kindle
7:45 am– I should be preparing for school
8:30 am– I am done bathing, packed my bag and I leave for school
Something was very, very, very, very WRONG.
4 Dangerous Paths Your Morning Routines Should Avoid
My morning habits pointed out four paths I was taking that were destructive. I thought I could find happiness, rest and peace through philosophy, pleasure, possessions and productivity. Martin Thielen captured well my morning routine in his new book Searching For Happiness:
Late in his life, the writer of Ecclesiastes realized that the four paths he had spent his life traveling – the paths of philosophy, pleasure, possessions, and productivity – were ultimately bankrupt in terms of producing happiness. They could not satisfy; they could not offer contentment. Each path promised far more than it could deliver.
1. Pursuit of Philosophy
In 2016, I read 30 books in 60 days. I spent my mornings reading books and writing reviews. To what end? I wanted to know more.
2. Pursuit of Pleasure
I rooted my joy in Leicester City and Barcelona FC. I woke up weekend mornings and watch soccer for 120 minutes. To what end? I wanted the thrills of anxious moments and the joys of watching my team win.
3. Pursuit of Possessions
I bought books I might never read, I upgraded this blog, I enrolled for online classes on Bible Interpretation, Writing and Inbound Marketing. To what end? I wanted to possess a certificate that testify of my expertise.
4. Pursuit of Productivity
I wrote 1,000 words in the morning, read about blogging better, prepared my thesis. To what end? I want my blog to be the best, I want to succeed in my studies and everything I do.
The Preacher walked through my path many centuries ago and has wise words for me:
I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11
9 Simple Quotes That Will Make Your Morning Habits Better
Reading Brother Lawrence offered me important insight on what a redeemed morning routine should look like. Seeing glimpses of Christ’s morning routine is inspiring me to make amends.
I would like to share with 9 quotes from Practice of the Presence of God that are helping me transform my morning routine. The goal of a successful morning routine is not for you to grow but know Christ.
Growth is only a result of knowing Him. A good morning routine focuses on knowing Christ. Nothing more.
1. Surrender Your Work to Christ
That when he began his business, he said to GOD, with a filial trust in Him, “O my GOD, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.
2. Affixed Your Mind on Christ
I made this my business as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of GOD. Such has been my common practice ever since I entered in religion; and, though I have done it very imperfectly, yet I have found great advantages by it.
3. Take Captive of all Your Thoughts
That in his trouble of mind, he had consulted nobody, but knowing only by the light of faith that GOD was present, he contented himself with directing all his actions to Him, i.e., doing them with a desire to please Him, let what would come of it. That useless thoughts spoil all: that the mischief began there; but that we ought to reject them, as soon as we perceived their impertinence to the matter in hand, or our salvation; and return to our communion with GOD.
4. Find Your Rest in God Alone
This doesn’t mean we must ignore the duties of the world forever; that would be impossible. Let prudence be our guide. However, I do believe that it is a common mistake of Spirit-filled people not to leave the cares of the world periodically to praise God in their spirits and to rest in the peace of His divine presence for a few moments.
5. Pray Without Ceasing
That we should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD’s Presence, by continually conversing with Him. That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries.
6. Surrender Your Life to Christ
That we ought to give ourselves up to GOD, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether he lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned.
7. Find Your Comfort in Repentance
That all possible kinds of mortification, if they were void of the love of GOD, could not efface a single sin. That we ought, without anxiety, to expect the pardon of our sins from the Blood of JESUS CHRIST, only endeavoring to love Him with all our hearts. That GOD seemed to have granted the greatest favors to the greatest sinners, as more signal monuments of his mercy.
8. Strive to Know Jesus
How happy we would be if we could find the treasure of which the Gospel speaks; all else would be as nothing. As it is boundless, the more you search for it the greater the riches you will find; let us search unceasingly and let us not stop until we have found it.
9. Strive Against Human Nature
Do not be discouraged by the resistance you will encounter from your human nature; you must go against your human inclinations. Often, in the beginning, you will think that you are wasting time, but you must go on, be determined and persevere in it until death, despite all the difficulties.
What is the one thing in your life that is hindering you from experiencing the presence of God in your life daily? Is it your phone? Let’s talk about it.