Although I’d often heard the advice that reading the Bible in the morning is best, I have generally been an evening reader. This year I switched to an early morning devotional time – and whaddya know? They were right: I’m much more consistent. I get up at 5:00, head to the kitchen and push the button on the Keurig, light a candle, fix my coffee (with chocolate and a generous amount of cream), and sit down to read my morning books.
(This picture makes me think of the hilarious Babylon Bee article: Woman Completes Quiet Time Without Instagramming It. I promise I don’t take pictures of this regularly.)
First, I read the Bible. I started a two-year Bible reading plan on January 1st of last year. I have started many one-year plans, but I would always get behind and eventually give up. I realized that it would be better to follow a slower plan and complete it, so I started Genesis once again.
And last week I finished the Old Testament!
It’s been many years since I read the entire Old Testament, and honestly even then it was mostly running my eyes across the words so I could check a box saying I’d read it. This time I’m reading less each day, plus using How To Read the Bible Book by Book to help with explanations and structural understanding. The study notes in my ESV Study Bible are also useful.
My second morning book is a study of Romans by R.C. Sproul. Spending so many months in the Old Testament made me want to study a New Testament book. It’s an expositional commentary, easy to read but very good. I generally read a chapter each day.
The third morning book (and yes I always read them in this order) is The Great Tradition, a collection of readings about classical education. I bought this book several years ago, read a little, got overwhelmed by its size and the authors I didn’t know, and put it on the shelf. Then I heard the advice – somewhere! – to work on big goals in 15 minute increments. Fifteen minutes. Easy. So I’m working my way through this book in 15 minutes a day.
And last, I open my Systematic Theology book and read it for 15 minutes. It is organized in outline form, which makes it easy to take notes. Brief notes, nothing extensive. I thought it might help me remember more of what I’m reading.
For more nerdy fun, I write in cursive when I take those notes…I’d given up cursive for print a long, long time ago, but in teaching my children to write in cursive, and requiring them to do their schoolwork in cursive, I realized that I should get back in the habit myself.
By that time my youngest has usually woken up and wandered into the kitchen to inquire about breakfast. But that hour and 15-30 minutes is precious. I love starting my day with quiet, intellectual pursuits.
Do you get up early to do something you love?