"I really want to sleep. Yes, but you have to get up in an hour and a half anyway."
"One more hour would feel so nice. Yes, but you're already awake."
"Maybe later... Who are you kidding? You aren't going to do it later."
"I'll make up the miles later on in the week. Really? Your week's going to get easier?"
"I really want to sleep - still. You'll be mad at yourself if you don't get up."
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Fine. Up. Throw a t-shirt on. Smooth my socks on, straightening the tongue of my shoes. Strap my ipod on my arm...down I go.
Why? Why am I getting up to run 12 miles at 5 o'clock in the morning? It's ridiculous.
For the first 2 miles all I can think about is going back to sleep, but as I make my way through the first 15 minutes, I begin to realize that I'm relaxed.
My thoughts are clear.
The sunrise is lovely.
Music is loud.
I am strong...
The list could go on. These early hours are when I most connect with myself, which means it's when I most connect with God.
I used to get up early to stay competitive; to maintain my 'girlish' figure; to eat chocolate. None of that is true anymore...at least not now, not as the mother of three boys who is not nearly as competitive or young as I once was (although I still eat the chocolate - dark Dove chocolate, if available).
Last week, while doing some reading, I came across a piece in Deuteronomy (30: 4), which said, "Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back."
That's what I need - every morning. I need God to bring me back from all the places I exile myself. Mostly, and I would say this is true for just about everyone, I exile myself from myself.
Somehow, I decide that there's something wrong with me. I know this isn't true - intellectually. Just like you know it isn't true - intellectually. But - I get beat down....exiled sometimes.
And in the wee morning hours, with cotton candy pink clouds peaking over the trees, and sweat dripping down my back...God gathers me and brings me home - to myself and Godself.
Guess, I'll keep getting up at 5am....now if I could just go back to sleep after the run. Guess not though, because by mile 3, I'm in God's hands.
So, how about you? What gets you up early (or keeps you up late), just because it's your place to be with our God?