The words you mutter to yourself matter, especially upon waking. After staggering in and out of the bathroom, you may have one word on your mind—coffee. If not coffee, then you’ve got a shower on your mind, or letting the dog out, finding the newspaper or getting yourself out the door and off to the gym. As your brain gets your body moving, it begins to churn with the obligations of the day, tugging you out of this moment, lurching you anxiously down the road, or fretting over something that happened yesterday that you’ve got to live with today. These thoughts are nearly automatic. The ego, your internal self-manager, is already doing its job in the way it’s done it since you were little.
In some sense, from the moment you awaken (and also in your dreams), you’ve been praying without ceasing—not to God, but to the roles and responsibility, fears and ambitions that drive you. The din of this unceasing, interior muttering, the pressure of all that’s coming at you, distracts you from the stunning wonder of the dawn, the light that’s coming to you as a new day begins, and the God who’s running toward you now, even before you’re ready for God’s embrace.
But the unconscious muttering of your mind hides all this, just as morning fog or city smog hides the dancing sun. Your muttering matters. So, take charge of those first few words. You can’t shut out completely the words that tumble through your brain, but you can, over time, swap them out for other, better words.
Try these instead—
Look! My Beloved comes, leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills. My Beloved comes and says to me, “Come away, my love, come away. Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your face is lovely and your voice is sweet.” from Song of Solomon 2.8-14
Each day, look to the sun (or wherever it’s supposed to be if you can't see it for one reason or another), and utter these words with a lusty, throaty and audible voice. They’re better than a double shot of Espresso.
And you’ll gain eyes to see God coming toward you even if you’re stuck in gridlock during your morning commute.