Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Oh What a Beautiful Day…
I must concede as a night owl that there is something truly special about the quiet of the morning.
As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to visit the forum in Downtown Harrisburg to see the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra perform. One such concert was a pops concert that featured pieces from a variety of musicals. One such musical was Oklahoma. Featured in this selection was the piece, Oh what a Beautiful Mornin.’ The idea of morning is something that is brought up by Christians a lot. I myself am not a morning person, but I know of a number of people who get up early in the day for their ‘quiet time.’
In his book ‘Life Together,’ Bonhoeffer writes “For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day’s work.” (Bonhoeffer 23). In essence, this highlights the importance of quiet time in the morning. It can be very easy to focus on the day ahead, and yet the early morning hours are a fantastic time to be still.
Bonhoeffer also points out in his work the imporance of taking time in those early morning hours to spent some time in scriptures. I will concede that this may not be possible for everyone, due to a variety of work and sleep schedules among other factors, and the average college student who is up late into the night studying for exams and completing papers may be wise to get some extra sleep where possible.
The morning hours however, particularly just before sunrise are especially peaceful. Much of the world around you is still asleep but the birds are awakening and the air is crisp. This, is a wonderful time to be in prayer, and to spend time in the scriptures. This is also a time to focus on that moment, such a simple pleasure, and allow the worries for the remainder of the day to become distant. A time of rest.
I do want to make clear that I don’t think Bonhoeffer is trying to argue that everyone must do this. I think he is trying to point out the beauty of doing something like this. Like I previously mentioned, not everyone is able to get up at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, and this can be for a variety of reasons. I think Bonhoeffer is really putting an emphasis on the overall importance of taking time out of your day to spend time in scripture. Building such a habit is not always the easiest, and I will be the first to admit that I am absolutely horrible at doing this. Despite the challenge, when you master it, it can be quite rewarding.