Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waking up: Bruno Mars vs. St. Josemaria Escriva

In the spirit of concluding our November theme of Prayer and the Liturgy...

So I'm sure most of you have heard "the Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars (if you haven't, don't waste your time or your soul). Essentially the song is all about how he wakes up one day and doesn't want to do anything with his life, he just wants to "lay in his bed" all day long and do other unproductive and generally life-less things (for those of you that may like this song, I am not saying you are a bad person, just trying to show you what you are filling your mind and heart with). Judging by this song, when Bruno wakes up in the morning, he has no purpose, nothing to live for, nothing to fight for. Sadly, I'm sure this is how many people in our society feel.

So, this got me thinking/praying. What is my first thought when I wake up? Mostly its annoyance and a general bitterness for the Hawaiian culture because of the ukelele song that plays on my phone to wake me up. Once I get past that, I reach all the way across my bed to hit the evil snooze button. The other day I came across this passage from St. Josemaria Escriva about what he calls "The Heroic Minute." Take a look:

The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and… up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body.It's so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish (Josemaria Escriva, The Way).

So, this got me thinking. First off, although I am not a doctor, I am pretty certain that the extra 5 minute intervals of "sleep" that we get from snoozing doesn't actually do anything for our body because it is not real sleep or real rest, thus it is purely a psychological battle. This battle seems unwinnable at times.

But wait, there is hope, says our beloved Spanish Powerhouse. If we can just claim that first moment of the day for Christ and give Him control over our life, we will see drastic changes. Instead of allowing Satan to creep in and taint our day with self-love from the very beginning, we can reject him and start our day off with a victory over the evil one! I think it all goes back to the question: What makes you get out of bed in the morning? Obviously, for Bruno Mars, there isn't much to live for, so why get out of bed? Well, my brothers and sisters in Christ- we have a lot to live for, because of what Christ did on the Cross. So let's wake up with purpose and immediately allow the love of God to overwhelm us and fill us to overflowing!

So, give this a try just for one week (only 7 days) and see if it doesn't change the way you go about your day. Try setting your alarm for the ACTUAL time you need to wake up (not 10 minutes earlier just so you can hit snooze twice), and when that alarm clock rings, place two feet on the floor, stand up and just speak the name of Jesus. Don't underestimate the power in prayer, and the power in His name. Besides, what better way to start your day than slapping Satan in the face?

So, I leave you with one question: What do you live for, and is it worth getting out of bed in the morning?

"Unless in the first waking moments of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on the wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God."
- Oswald Chambers

By Guest Blogger Austin Ashcraft, FOCUS Missionary

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