Marika Smit is an Urban Monastic Intern in Hamilton Ontario. She wrote this reflection after reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic, LIFE TOGETHER. IMG_4535

This past week I thought about mornings.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer mentioned that mornings are a special time for believers. In the scriptures it says God’s mercies “are new every morning” (Lam. 3:32).

I don’t dread mornings, but it’s not a highlight of my day. When I was in university and facing a long day of multiple activities, I would prolong my evening of freedom and savour any moments I could have in the morning in bed – where I didn’t have to deal with my day.

I didn’t have that joy of a new day that Bonhoeffer speaks of.

During my period of unemployment, the new day seemed overwhelming – it represented another day of managing myself and planning activities. I found my mornings hardly existed as I spent half of the morning sleeping or lounging around.

Lately my mornings have been following a certain routine that starts at 5:15am with the sound of my phone alarm. I can’t give in to my emotions or feelings because I can’t afford to miss my ride to work. My mornings make up the majority of my work day. I often start work at 7:30am and by 12pm most of my work day is already done. I’ve enjoyed seeing the moon in the morning as the night turns to dawn; the only reason I’m up at that time is because I have to be. My favourite time to get up in the morning is 8/8:30am so the idea of getting up before 5:15am to spend time reading scriptures seems daunting.

Mornings with others can be interesting and strategic.

When I lived with several girls in London ON, I found myself building my morning routine to avoid my housemates. I left 30 minutes later than they did, so I got up when they were heading out. I didn’t feel bad about using the bathroom and I could prepare for my day without the awkwardness of chatting with them. When I see people I find it hard to be quiet. So living with people that “don’t do mornings” is difficult for me. Often I budget a limited amount of time before heading off to school/work so I can’t afford to give it away to others. How do you start the morning in community with people that “don’t do mornings”? My parents tried, we would have breakfast together growing up along with a short devotion and sometimes it was as early as 7:15am (so my dad could get to his work on time). My happy time is 8am; I would often arrive at breakfast in my pajamas and do (or survive) the routine only to go back to bed for another 30 minutes – I was homeschooled.

Do I carry that freeness that we can have as believers – peace that each morning I am entering a new day with the LORD?

Can I awake with anticipation and joy because God’s mercies are new at the start of each day?

Will I budget time in my future mornings so that I can consider some of the activities that Bonhoeffer speaks of?

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