I think this is bad for me personally for a couple reasons. 1) I tend to procrastinate things until the very last minute and then do a half hearted job in a rush to get it finished — which is something I never want to do with my quiet time. 2) I have a hard time reading with good comprehension at night and don’t retain much when I do. And 3) In college, night is the time for things to be going on and there are plenty of distractions ( although many are of good value, such as heart to heart conversations with friends).
Conversely, I think that getting up in the morning early is a great time for me to have my quiet time for several basic reasons. 1) I am a morning person, and as such (once I have awaken — which, granted is quite a struggle) I tend to be able to get a lot of things done early. 2) Starting my day with prayer and time in the Word is a great way to focus myself each day and begin with a proper perspective. 3) From 6-7:00am each morning I am very hard-pressed to find distractions of any sort. And 4) starting my day off with prayer I can make sure to lift up others before they start their day and cover them in prayer (I have a 1-hour jump on people back home because of the time change 🙂 ) as well as the fact that I get the benefit of Scripture being on my mind throughout the day.
With that said, although my personal opinion is perhaps nice, it really carries little weight. But I think that this topic is addressed in Scripture in at least a few places, in reference to both rising early and sleeping in late. By the wonders of technology I was able to listen to Tyler Beard’s sermon at MBC through their website. Tyler spoke on Genesis 22 and Abraham’s offering of Isaac (which happens to be my middle name by the way — “lol” — no, literaly, that’s what it means)– and one of the things that he pointed out was that Abraham rose early in the morning to obey God (22:3). Not only did he have faith in God, but he set out early to follow God’s command (not an easy command either). The moring was a time for people to get things of priority done throughout the Old Testament.
And in the New Testament we see the best instance of someone placing an important task to be completed in the morning. In Mark 1:35 we find that Jesus rose early in the morning to pray, in a secluded place. What better example to follow than Christ himself?
On the flip side, I was reading about David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel the other day and something stuck out to me that I had never noticed before. Typically the commentary on this passage is that David ought to have been at war and that, by remaining at home where he wasn’t suppossed to be, he positioned himself for sin. And while that is definitely there, the curious thing is that in verse 2 of chapter 11 it says that “when evening came David arose from his bed”. Not only had David not been at war where he was suppossed to be, but he had been laying around in bed all day before he got up. It says that it was evening when he got up, which was probably not a one night thing because he was tired from war, but rather a bad habit he had produced over time. Typically you don’t get much good military planning or psalm writting done if you rise in the evening anyways.
I think that there is a huge danger to a habit of sleeping-in (and for me not having my quiet time in the morning before anything else), and sadly I have fallen into that danger. In my life I can see that I am more prone to sin and neglect my work when I have failed to rise early in the morning and put my quiet time first — and I don’t mean just days that I have failed to spend time in the Word, just days that I put it off until later. And in retrospect I have found that when I had a consistent quiet time each morning (like this summer) instead of at random times throughout the day (like right now), my walk with God has been closer.
I don’t know if I would risk my life for this idea, but it is something to think about — and I encourage you to rise early and put first things first. And perhaps you can keep me accountable to quit sleeping in and follow my ideas myself.
“Arise, shine.” — Isaiah 60:1