The Honesty of Waking Thoughts

6 am

“It is a sensitive time, this borderland between the long sleep of night and the immediacy of the day: one has been left behind, the other has not fully arrived. Ideas that have been at work in the mind may be clearer now than at any other time; but they are fragile, fleeting, and can easily be lost. Take the first moments when emerging from sleep to be still, to let waking come gently, to cherish the thoughts that are hovering, to let the idea that may soon need to be acted upon gather fullness.”

(from 6 am in the Book of Hours by Elizabeth Yates)

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My heart tells on me as I sleep.

The stillest, most honest moments of thought are usually before I’m fully awake, unable to object, justify or interpret. Often I roll over, crack my eyes open and hear a single refrain, over and over in my heart. Most times I can’t even remember the rest of the words or where it is coming from.

Every morning lean thine arms upon the windowsill of heaven, then with the vision in thine heart turn to meet the day.

My Waking Thoughts are Intimately Personal

There is almost always a reason my heart chose to meditate on that particular phrase or song. And if I can catch my very first thought and sit with it, even for just a few moments, its a beautifully honest jumping off point for a morning conversation with the Lord. (If I do not linger in the moment, however, the refrain will be gone before I can articulate it. I must not rush the waking up.)

Waking Thoughts are Severely Honest

Sometimes the moment of clarity brings answers. Yesterday I spent hours trying to fix a problem. Hours fighting a stupid error, troubleshooting. But walking away from it, sleeping on it, waking with it changes something. Out of nowhere, the obvious answer rises to the surface of my mind. Birds are singing, flowers are smiling and there it is – the answer!

Which is not to imply my waking thoughts are always good ones. Too much Law and Order the day before? I awake with images of murder on my mind. Fall asleep last night with unresolved strife? I awake more often than not with thoughts of snakes. Don’t ask. (I’ve also been known to jump out of bed at 5 am, kicking the covers in panic about imaginary snakes in the bed. It’s a tell-tale sign that I have unresolved anxiety. Always.)

But oh! the moments when the song of the Lord runs through my mind in this sweet drop of time. When my spirit isn’t drowned out with my soul issues and I can hear, clearly hear, His voice. One lyric beautifully sung greeting me in the early hours… is there any better way to open my eyes?

Honor the waking thoughts as the windows to the soul that they are. Hear and respond. And if you are not pleased with what you hear, that in itself is a revelation to take into your morning.


Back-and-Forward-ButtonThis post is part of my series 31 Days of Glancing Back and Leaning Forward: Personal reflections and life lessons from my year.

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