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What a Way to Start the Day

November 9, 2010

Heavy with sleep, I wondered vaguely why I was waking up in the middle of the night.  I stared through the darkness at the ceiling and then let my head fall slowly to the side.  As my cheek came to a rest on the pillow, I tilted my head up and struggled to see the clock without moving the rest of my body.  The glowing digital numbers read 6:13.  I closed my eyes hard and then opened them wide. 

“Oh no!” I practically shouted.  “I have a meeting at 7:00!”  Already I was throwing the covers back and jumping out of bed.  A moment later I was splashing water on my face and then scrambling in the vanity for foundation.  No time for moisturizer today, just get on some makeup.  Why oh why?  Of all the mornings to oversleep!

With a day jammed full of meetings which would culminate in the dreaded annual budget presentation, I’d wanted to get to work early.  I had imagined myself arriving in time to make a cup of coffee, check a few emails and then start my first conference call with a clear head.  Instead, at 7:10, I heard my own voice croak out an apology for being late.  As the call progressed, I dearly wished for a caffeinated beverage to clear my head.  

One week later, with that awful memory fresh in my mind, I found myself calling the front desk of the hotel where I was staying.  “Could I have a 4:45 a.m. wake up call?” I asked.   Knowing that catching my flight actually depended on getting up early, I also set the alarm in my room.  My recent experience reminded me that I am fully capable of messing up this simple procedure; so I also set the alarm on my phone.  I was NOT going to miss the flight, and perhaps it was a little extreme, but that flight was not leaving the ground without me. 

My phone alarm went off first, and I stumbled across the unfamiliar room to grab my phone and silence it.  When the room phone rang, I lifted the receiver and dropped it back in its cradle.  Groggy with sleep and extreme weariness from trying to adjust to a three hour time zone difference, I squinted at the clock just as it started its incessant beeping. 

My eyes felt puffy and old, and I dreaded looking in the mirror, but I was definitely awake. 

After washing my face and quickly dressing in the clothes I’d laid out the night before, I slid a flat iron through the thick strands of my hair and put on a swift application of makeup.  I surveyed myself in the mirror.  Not half bad for this horrific time of the morning, I said to myself.  

Three hours later, high in the sky, I watched the sun rise through puffy clouds and marveled at the beauty.  As I stared down at the soft whiteness of the clouds, I thought about the misery of crawling out of bed before anyone else and driving along a dark highway in order to reach the airport.  I thought back on those early morning hours and said to myself, It was worth it.  The journey isn’t always easy for Christians either, but we’re told to be ready, to prepare. 

Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of eternity.  Living for God seems so extreme to many people, but when He says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” ours will be joy indescribable.

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