First, some back story. I hate to admit it, but I worked for about a year at a Bible Bookstore in high school.
So while driving the other day, my mind made a random weird connection that made me laugh – it does that when it gets two minutes of silence put together.
I was thinking about my current morning routine and two hours seems like enough time to do the three things I want to do before the kids are up, but 1) it’s rarely actually a full two hours 2) sluggishness and distraction eat time.
Eating made me think of Mark Twain’s famous productivity quote:
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
And then – BOOM – random connection.
Suddenly, the image that popped into my head was a vision from those Bible Bookstore days, back when the tchotchke-makers were trying to find the next hip acronym to follow WWJD.
I’m sorry if you’ve never encountered frog mugs or figurines or necklaces or posters with Fully Rely On God
tastefully scrolled across (preferably in Papyrus font), but they’re real.
And I snickered, but the connection remains.
We don’t need to do the worst thing first in our day. We need to eat God’s Word first in our day.
This doesn’t have to be a special, 30-minute devotional time complete with journalling and candle.
That’s nice if it can happen, but for many of us it can’t or just doesn’t.
What IS essential? Prayer before we jump into our day.
The Heidelberg Catechism reminds us:
Prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness God requires of us. Also, God gives His grace and Holy Spirit only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly, asking God for these gifts and thanking Him for them.
C.S. Lewis also had thoughts on what was most important in the morning:
It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.
We begin our days by default being self-aware, self-centered, self-absorbed. The FROG we must eat first thing in the morning is not a difficult to-do item, it is letting go of our own self-will and telling God, “Not my will, but thine be done.” “I am a handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to Your Word.” It is a hard task to pause, reflect, and prayerfully turn the day over to God, asking for the grace to obey. But all the rest of the day will flow the better for it.
Eating our FROG means remembering that God’s in control and we aren’t. It also means embracing that truth instead of fighting it. God will call us to be patient and loving in trying situations today – pray for a heart that will obey, desiring and practicing the fruits of the Spirit instead of the fruits of pride.
Hm – maybe I can tie in the Frog Prince here? The metaphors are already weird, so let’s roll with it.
We’re the snooty, selfish princess who wants her own way. Until we’re humble enough to lose our precious and kiss the frog, we’ll be unhappy, crabby, and grabby. When we pause, let go of our pride, and kiss the frog, we find that the situation is entirely other than what we thought.
She who loses her life – who drops her grasping control on life – will find it – hidden in Christ, her Prince of Peace.