Why are Monday mornings such a challenge for some people? Perhaps because they come after a fun and/or productive weekend. Or maybe there’s a big unfinished project at work. Or there are additional work demands above and beyond the call of duty.
I often recall early morning demands that came, not just on Mondays, but every day of the week during my time in military basic training. All of us were pushed to our mental and physical limits all day long. When night came, we could hardly wait to hit the sack.
As a student of the Bible, I’d been used to getting up fairly early to read a few pages to freshen my thinking with some inspiring ideas to keep me going through the day. But as hard as I tried, it seemed almost impossible to get up before the sergeant came in to snap us to our feet in preparation for another full day of training.
I thought to myself, There’s got to be a better way!
Then it hit me. I could start my day, in a sense, at midnight. I could break the usual pattern and simply begin my Mondays, and every day, at midnight the night before. So before I went to sleep after a long and hard day, I’d start fresh. I’d sit on my bunk, read something from my Bible to give me some inspiration. If it was past lights-out time, I’d just read with a flashlight under my blanket for a little while. Immediately I felt comforted and uplifted by what I was reading, whether it was the Psalms or an account of Jesus preaching and healing. Then I’d go to sleep, thinking about those ideas and events.
Inevitably, I would wake up the next morning refreshed and well rested before the sergeant came into the barracks to get us all going. I felt the tangible benefits of Bible verses such as this one: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night” (Ps. 92:1, 2).
That was years ago. I still have to face Monday mornings, as well as the other six, just like everyone else. But since then, it’s been such a help to know that I can take those few minutes before lights out and gain a sense of God’s “faithfulness every night,” as well as get up early to pray and listen for direction and feel His “lovingkindness in the morning.”
Not long ago I had occasion to rededicate myself to this activity. I was having some severe and unpleasant nightmares. They had nothing to do with my daily life. They were just random and illogical thoughts of fear and danger. Sometimes I’d get up in the middle of the night, read the Bible, pray for myself, and go back to bed. And sometimes I’d wake up in the morning, refreshed and feeling normal. But sometimes not.
Then I thought about my basic training days. I decided to be more diligent in praying for myself before I went to sleep until I had a conscious sense of God’s goodness and of the harmony that is mine and each of ours as God’s children. This was such a help, and it brought much more consistent results. I slept without any sense of dread or anxiety.
I’ve often thought of a statement by Mary Baker Eddy on this very subject, which has been such a practical help. She wrote, “[I]f you fall asleep, actually conscious of the truth of Christian Science, – namely, that man’s harmony is no more to be invaded than the rhythm of the universe, – you cannot awake in fear or suffering of any sort” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 61).
Feeling that “faithfulness every night” before going to sleep brings with it a greater awareness of God’s loving presence in the morning. Even on Monday mornings.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
Uncompanioned, Lord, by thee;
Joyless is the day’s return,
Till thy mercy’s beams I see;
Till they inward light impart,
Glad my eyes, and warm my heart.
“The Christian Science Hymnal," No. 35)