5 Reasons to Get Up Early in the Morning
(Catholic Gentleman) – For the past year or so, I’ve been getting out of bed earlier than I ever have. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hard, and I still hit the snooze button more often than I’d like, but I find that waking up really early is tremendously helpful.
Today, I’d like to share five reasons I think every man should get up early in the morning.
- Quietness – The world is filled with noise in the form of busyness and media stimulation. We rush around frantically, and when we aren’t busy, our downtime is filled with the glow of electronic screens. I was recently at gas station, and even the gas pump had a built in TV flashing news headlines and advertisements. Apparently filling up without a TV screen is too much to ask.
In contrast, getting up early provides some much needed quiet space. It might even be the only time of day when you’re not distracted by something, and having those few moments of peace can make a big difference in your stress levels.
- Time with our Lord – Do you feel you don’t have time to pray? Do you want to spend some time in Scripture or the writings of the saints, but you find yourself too busy? Just as it makes space for silence, getting up early can provide much needed time for prayer, Scripture reading, meditating on the truths of the faith, or just resting in God’s presence.
In Psalm 5, David says, “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.” God blesses those who rise early to praise him.
Even if you begin to get up a half hour earlier than you normally do, you will find that it’s plenty of time to read a chapter of the Gospels and pray for strength for the day. In my experience, I find this simple activity sets the tone for the rest of the day. If I miss it, I am stressed out and more irritable. When I make time for it, though, I am more peaceful and mindful of God’s presence.
- It builds discipline – Getting up is hard. When you’re tucked between warm sheets and resting on a comfortable pillow, prolonging the comfort becomes very important. Because it’s so comfortable, getting out of bed can be an excellent exercise in self-mastery—and the saints tell us that conquering ourselves is necessary for any kind of holiness.
St. Josemaría Escrivá once said that getting out of bed early is hard enough that it makes for an excellent penance—especially if you leap out of bed the minute your alarm goes off. If you really want to show God you are sorry for your sins, pry yourself out of bed and spend some time with him in prayer.
- Sunrises – When’s the last time you saw a sunrise? If you haven’t seen one recently, you really should. They are one of the glories of God’s creation. The problem is, sunrises don’t wait for you to wake up. They happen pretty early. So get out of bed and watch one! You won’t regret it.
- Creativity – Most of my blog posts are written in the early morning (if there’s typos, it’s probably because I’m not quite awake yet!). Once I’ve shaken off the drowsiness, I find I am actually quite creative in the morning. The silence I mentioned earlier makes it easier to focus, and there is a certain mental freshness that accompanies a new day after a good night’s sleep.
There you have it. Waking up early can be hard, but it is definitely worth it. It gives you much needed space for important things like prayer and silence, and it builds your muscles of self-discipline.
Now, I will add that if you’ve read the above points and they’ve inspired you to wake up earlier than you normally do, you should probably ease into things. Don’t set your alarm for 4:30 a.m. if you’re used to getting up at 6:30 a.m.! It will be too much of a shock, you’ll fail, and you’ll get frustrated. Instead, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than normal until it’s no longer a shock. Then, work your way back to your desired wake up time.
Happy early rising!
Reprinted with permission. The author is married with two small boys. He lives in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin, and is the Communications Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. His works have been published in The Christian Science Monitor, Catholic Exchange, Aleteia, Truth and Charity Forum, and a number of faith based blogs.