I’ve learned a new word.
Quotidian – adj – (kwo-ti-de-an) = of or occurring everyday; daily; ordinary; especially when mundane
With that new word comes a challenge to take a fresh look at the first few minutes of each day. What if the first 15 minutes of each ordinary day imprints me with the tone and nature of my next 23:45 hours?
We are shaped every day, whether we know it or not, by practices – rituals and liturgies that make us who we are. (Tish Harrison Warren)
“If humans rescue a baby animal in the wild, the animal is said to be “imprinted”. It accepts the human as its mother. From that point on, it will believe that all good things come from people.
My typical morning routine was that shortly after waking, I’d grab my smartphone. Like digital caffeine, it would prod my foggy brain into coherence and activity. Before getting out of bed I’d check my email, scroll through the news, glance at Facebook and Twitter. My ritual was brief – no more than five or ten minutes. But I was imprinted. My day was imprinted by technology. And like a mountain lion cub attached to her humans, I’d look for all good things to come from glowing screens.” (Liturgy of the Ordinary, Warren, page 26)
I’d look for all good things to come from glowing screens.
Bam! That hits close to home.
Before I even get out of bed I am already mentally savoring the first sips my sugar-free vanilla latte with almond milk, extra hot. As I sit in my comfy office chair with low lighting and a vanilla candle burning, I enjoy my latte as I begin to fill my mind with my favorite glowing screens. I check my email accounts, browse through the latest Facebook posts, and get distracted by recipes in Pinterest. Eventually I will close up my computer and start with my Bible reading plan.
My moments, my days, and ultimately my life is driven by habits and practices. It’s time for a new routine.
Your unexamined daily habit is shaping you. (Warren)
On Sundays we attend church. We participate in liturgies – a ritualized way of worship – that we repeat week by week. These practices of worship transform our lives. But there are only 52 Sundays in a year. What happens in the rest of the 313 ordinary days?
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.Romans 12:1-2 MSG
Transformation in our life occurs in the small moments of today. It happens in a cooperation between the Holy Spirit and your surrender and obedience.
- What is my routine for the first 15 minutes of my day?
- Does it bring health to my body, soul, and spirit?
- Is the Holy Spirit prodding me to re-examine this habit?
- What is one change I will implement starting tomorrow morning?
I want to encourage you to cultivate a new morning habit that brings health to your body, soul, and spirit. This could be a wide variety of foggy-eyed activities. Here is a list of just a few:
- Sit in a quiet spot with your coffee and slowly wake up enjoying the peace of God’s presence.
- Grab a big glass of water and head out to the deck and greet the morning.
- Make your bed and sit on it for 5 minutes enjoying the one ordered rectangle in your otherwise messy house. (Warren)
- Say “good morning” to each one as they awake and ask them how they slept (with genuine care).
- Brush your teeth so you don’t miss any goodbye kisses.
- Read your Bible
- Do your stretches slowly and quietly
A Final Thought
Determine to not be imprinted by glowing screens.
Instead, take the dailiness of your first 15 minutes – as quotidian as it is – and make the bed, enjoy your cup of coffee, say good morning, and read your Bible. It’s in the small, quiet repetitive moments that ultimately form the life you will live.