I remember growing up with a daily structure to follow. I belonged to that generation when parents instilled a disciplined time management to their children. Whether on schooldays or vacation, we had to start our day early.
Do you know the saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?” That was my parents’ motivation for us.
This is true for most parents that they want their children to be successful in life. They believe success starts with an early day.
Another parents’ favorite saying is, “The early bird catches the worm.” Thus, when my own children were growing up, I also instilled in them this good habit of waking up early.
Downside of Flexible Hours
But as years went by, long after my children had grown and started their own lives, I managed to establish my own flexible time routine as my needs demanded it. Like if I had a class, or appointment, or an errand late in the morning, I’d get up late too, beyond 7 am.
My days became more and more flexible, since I quit my teaching job at a pastoral institute and opted to work from home. Yet, the freedom flextime (flexible hours) gave me was both simultaneously good and overwhelming!
I realized I wasn’t as productive as I used to. Without a set time structure for my day, the hours seemed to fly by without me having accomplished as much as I wanted or needed to.
Besides, the feeling of cramming too many things in a few hours of the day was already creating a sense of mindless flow and needless stress.
It seems like Time and Temper run in short supply, as we get older.
The Beauty of Creating Sacred Time
Fast forward to the beginning of this year, I vowed to be more mindful of the hours I spend in a day.
I had to rediscover the joy of waking up much earlier again, at the crack of dawn when everything was still dark, cold, and dreary.
But, more than waking up early, something inside me was still yearning for more, for something deeper and far more meaningful for each of my day.
I realized then I needed to create a special time for prayer or quiet meditation, a time for communing with God.
And I can only do so by setting particular hours of my day for this Sacred Time, spread throughout my day, with intention; to pray not only when I feel like or have extra time.
So far, this has been helping me set the tone for my day.
The beauty of doing this? Waking up earlier than usual and creating Sacred Time for certain hours of the day, I can, among many other benefits:
- Start my day with a prayer and conversation with God with no hurry
- Enjoy watching the dark dawn turn light into a new day
- Watch the first glow of the morning sun peeking through the mountains in the eastern side of the metropolis
- Observe the pigeons in the neighborhood take flight for their morning exercise
- Organize my day’s activities, including rest, more mindfully and meaningfully
- Focus more on the present
- Feel more calm and relaxed despite hardship and challenges knowing I am a prayer away from my Creator
- Accomplish more by giving priority to the most urgent tasks and doing away with killing time
- End my day with a healing prayer before bedtime
In short, I find it refreshing and energy boosting in starting and ending the day on a positive note, which can only come from having a time for prayer. My Sacred Time! It has helped deepen my prayer life.
Of course, I still feel challenged at times, and problems still take the better of me. Yet, growing closer to God through my Sacred Time, I can overcome the negatives, do more, and grow to be the best person I can ever be.
“Be still and know that I am God.” — Psalm 46:10
If you feel you need more calm, want to be more productive, and grow, you too can try this. You can also create your own sacred time or space. You may have your own version of it – your own quiet, solitary time, communing with your Higher Being, at an hour/or hours and place you choose. It brings the same effect. It will surely benefit you in many more ways than you’ll ever know.