And 6 mornings out of 7 (okay, if I'm being honest it's more like 7 out of 7), I hit snooze, roll over and go back to sleep. I wake up an hour (or more) later to the sound of a talking (or fussing) Sprout and say, "Argh, oh well, I'll do better tomorrow." But I don't.
So after oh, I don't know, like 20 years of doing this, I woke up Tuesday morning (an hour after the alarm) and had a thought.
What if I treated God like I'd treat a friend? Not just any friend. A BEST friend.
Better yet, what if I treated my best friend the way I've been treating God every morning? What if I made plans to meet my friend for coffee every morning and confirmed those plans each night before I went to bed? How long would my friend tolerate a text from me every morning to say "Sorry, can't make it, too tired"?
I thought about it long and hard, and decided I could probably get away with it for two days in a row before my friend began to rethink our plans. I mean sure, she'd probably agree with my excuses for awhile..."The baby was up a lot last night so I'm reeeeally tired today" or "I went to bed too late last night, sorry." But even if she tolerated my excuses, they are still exactly that. Excuses.
At first, she'd likely be understanding. She might ask if I needed a phone call in the morning or if everything was alright. Pretty soon, she'd text or call and say, "Dude, what's your deal?" or "Look, if you're not committed to getting up and having coffee, then just forget it." or maybe something worse like, "Geez, who stands their friend up EVERY SINGLE MORNING? What kind of friend are you?!?"
Then it hit me. I wouldn't do that to a friend. I wouldn't even do that to a stranger. So WHY oh WHY do I do it to my God? And what made me feel even worse was that He wouldn't call me a flake or tell me I was a terrible friend. He'd keep agreeing to meet me for coffee each morning. Over and over and over again. Each morning hoping I'd be there, even when He already knew how it would turn out.
So Tuesday night when I went to bed, I set my alarm and told God, "See you in the morning." And you know what? I got up as soon as my alarm went off.
I've actually dragged myself out of bed before to meet with God, but yesterday was different. Usually I do it because I feel like that's what I'm supposed to do. But yesterday, I got up excited to meet with my dear old friend over coffee (except I had ginger tea because my throat was froggy).
And I had an awesome time with Him. For the first time in my life I talked to God like I would a friend over coffee and told Him about what was going on, asked Him for advice and listened. Ok, I sorta listened. I'm not very good at that. I'm working on it. And He knows that.
And while I'd like to credit myself for coming up with the whole friend analogy, I'm pretty sure God had a lot to do with it.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek with all your heart. ~Jeremiah 29:13
And all of God's people said, Amen.
Day 1 of the 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge: Today I am grateful for a merciful God.