It’s about 5:30 in the morning. Still dark outside, and the coffee won’t start brewing on it’s own until 7. I’m up this early because I have a men’s group that meets down the street at 6 on Fridays, where we talk about being dads and husbands, about God, and what’s going on in our lives. The reason we meet so early is so that it doesn’t take away from time with our family or our jobs. Which I love. But it’s hard for me to get up this early. Going to sleep earlier sometimes helps but most of the time it’s just never not hard. The biggest challenge of the whole thing is sitting myself up, swinging my legs out, and actually standing up on the floor. If I can accomplish that feat, then I’m good. But that’s the battle. I want to get up this early. I love being up before anybody else. Author Jon Acuff calls it “Sucker Punching the Day.” It feels like I’m sneaking into the show early before they start charging the cover fee. I remember reading once that the President only sleeps from about midnight til 5 (not sure which one I heard that about — I think Clinton), and Donald Trump does the same thing. I guess the new American motto goes something like “Late to bed, early to rise, because nobody values sleep anymore.” But I’ve always had this struggle between wanting to wake up early or wanting to sleep in. The “sleep in” part I think is the teenage rebel in me who never really rebelled. I got to sleep in earlier this week. In fact I spent most of a day in bed. And I think it did wonders for me. Because I’m up this morning after about 6 hours of sleep and I feel great. The thing is, I want to be an early riser, I think in a big part because of my dad. For as long as I remember he’s told me that if he sleeps til 8 he feels like he’s lost half the day. I remember summers staying with him in Missouri, dragging myself downstairs in the morning and I’d see him at his desk writing (longhand of course–he has great and unique penmanship) with the lamp on and he’d tell me he’d been up for hours. And something about that really inspired me. Just the thought of being up and getting a head start on the world, spending it in thought or prayer, just being alive before you had to — it’s something I still want to have in my life. I just have to make it happen.