Why 5 A.M.?

“Why in the world do you get up at 5:00 in the morning?”

That has to be the most frequent question I get, followed closely by, “How can you even think at 5:00 in the morning?”

The reason for my early rising is actually pretty boring:  I just sort of fell into it. Honestly! I was looking to add devotional time to my daily schedule, and I started by asking myself what environment was crucial to getting the most out of this dedicated time. For me, the answer was three-pronged…

I needed a quiet house.   

I needed to be alone.

I needed to start my day with it.  

At 5:00 AM, my house is a Trappist monastery. The only sounds are the faint purr-snoring of my still-slumbering husband in the next room, my Keurig periodically warming its water, and the occasional cat crossing the wood floor as he moves from his chair to the couch. It’s the closest I get to silence all day, and I love it. I yearn for it.

And, it’s just me. Every day, my husband and I ride to and from work together. I interact with people all day in an office setting. I enjoy the people I’m with; however… I’m also an INFJ. (Myers-Briggs anyone?) I need a daily dose of alone time, and my evenings always seem filled. Mornings just seemed right for me.

When I can sit alone in the quiet of early morning and read Scripture or a favorite devotional, it sets the tone for my entire day. I used to sleepwalk to the shower at 6:30 after hitting the snooze button at least three times, then grump my way to work. God and kindness were far from my mind, and it was apparent to me and everyone who came into contact with me. I needed quiet, solitary mornings to focus my day… and I needed God to be first.

When I began this practice, it was tough hearing that alarm go off at 5:00 AM. But now, there are nights when—as I crawl into bed—I am just the tiniest bit giddy about getting up at 5, grabbing my hot coffee, crawling into my overstuffed chair, and seeing where God meets me that day.  It’s that good.