The Radical Life

by matthew warner

The first skirmish

I love sleeping in. There’s something beautiful and peaceful about waking up slowly. The natural light and sounds of the morning gently tugging on my consciousness as I gradually reawaken to that warm realization: I’m still here. Mornings like that are to be treasured and felt with every ounce of our being.

Unfortunately, it rarely works out like that. More often, I wake up — having already hit the snooze button twice — with a jolt. This jolt is either the realization that I’m late or it’s my 4 year old “surprising” his groggy dad with a good morning wrestling attack. Either way, I’ve started the day off taken by surprise, unprepared and behind.

I’ve learned that the first moment of the day usually sets the tone for the rest of it. If I start the day well, I usually finish well. If I start the morning behind, I spend the rest of the day just catching up.

The very first moment is key.

Every morning starts with a small, but significant test. Will the day surprise you with a jolt? Or will you surprise it? It’s the difference between you living your life or letting your life live you.

“Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a fixed time, without yielding a single minute to laziness. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish!” - St. Josemaría Escrivá

So today you gave yourself to God. Good. Tomorrow, the world, the flesh and the devil will demand it back. They attack before dawn…before you wake. Eager to accommodate your earliest yielding. Anxious to negotiate with you before your wits are fully awake.

Be prepared to make your first moment a heroic one. Win the first skirmish. It sets the tone for a heroic day. Get up! You have important things to do.