Ending and beginning the day
For the psalmist, how we end the day and begin the next is important. After all, our habits of going off to sleep and waking up frame our daily experiences. When we pray for “the courage to change the things I can”, we must rethink how we go to sleep and how we wake up.
If we follow the psalmist’s example of paying attention to these critical moments, we too can learn how to rest easily like he did. Focusing on God when we go to sleep and when we wake up quietens our hearts, refreshes our bodies and signposts the path to serenity. The obvious question is: How do we do this?
Here is what I am learning to do. Just before going to sleep, I consciously release my life with all its joys and struggles into the hands of God. Along with this inward surrender, I put together a one-sentence prayer that expresses my heart to God. When I wake up, before I get out of bed, I do three things: I receive the new day as a gift; acknowledge the Divine Friendship; and ask for God’s strength to live the day as fully as possible.
When I don’t do these simple practices, the day often just doesn’t go as well as it could have. In describing what I do, I hope I have encouraged you to think about what you could do to focus on God at the end and beginning of each day.
When you go to sleep tonight, seek to focus on God in a way that you find meaningful. When you wake up tomorrow, find a way of becoming conscious of God’s Presence before you get out of bed.