What is my first thought
in the mornings?
What is my first action?
That thing that you think and do first thing, it sets the intention for your whole day, and bit by bit for your whole life. What is it you do? Do you reach for your phone? Do you jump to the mental checklist of all that has to be done? Do you roll over and resist waking? Do you think COFFEE or reach over and pat your partner or take in a huge new breath of life-giving air? Do you greet God?
I recently participated in a prayer study. During the first session, the leaders asked members of the group to share the prayers they had said as children. There were a lot of “Now I lay me” contributions and some “God is good, God is great.” One woman offered a beautiful little rhyme that has stuck with me:
Good Morning, Lord.
This is your day!
I am your child;
Show me the way.
I love how simple this is and yet how profound. So many of us have written about our struggles to relinquish control. So many of us have written about wrestling with surrender, trust and faith. So many of us have written about the importance of gratitude. And under all of this is a journey of discernment. The ongoing effort to determine how to live.
Here in these 15 words, which are super easy to remember and quick to recite, we have so much that can set us on a solid path for our day. We make God our first companion, greeting Him with joy and celebration. We give thanks for more time and give authority to His plan. We position ourselves as children in a way that feels to me so liberating—we don’t have to know all the answers, we don’t have to have it all figured out, we don’t have to sound smart, we don’t have to be “grown up,” only growing! And we ask for guidance. Simple, and profound, as that.
I try to make this short prayer my first thought. I have a sequence of things I like to do after that, which includes stretching, meditation, reading, and more prayer, but May and the onset of summer have disrupted that regimen mightily. If nothing else, I can still choose what I want those first thoughts to be. I can take advantage of that daily awakening.
What about you? What are your first thoughts? How do they serve or not serve you?