"On your marks... Set... Go!"
These words probably remind you of a competition, especially a race - a "running" competition.
One of the oldest running competitions in athletics and track & field sport events is the sprint. You may have witnessed one at the stadium or on TV or even participated in one yourself. A sprint is a race over a short distance, at top speed, while maintaining one lane on the running track. A professional athlete begins a sprint race by crouching (on his mark), leaning forward (getting set), and moving to an upright position then forward (to go) to the finish line immediately the starter gun is fired.
Apart from the athlete's skills (stamina, breathing, leg length, speed, etc.), one thing is needed before the race begins - visualization. Before the start command is given, he must conclude the race in his mind; he must visualize himself getting to the finish line first. Nothing else must occupy his mind. Zero distractions! Those minutes before the race and the first few steps after the gun is shot are very crucial to his performance.
Sprints form a befitting analogy for each day in our lives. What do you find yourself doing first thing after you wake up or when your alarm rouses you out of your sweet sleep?
Where a lifetime could be compared to a marathon, a typical 12-18 hour day may be compared to a sprint. That means that the whole life of an individual is a series of sprints with intermittent breaks i.e. one day after another. We rest at night and wake up the following morning to take another sprint.
How do you start your daily "sprint"? This has a strategic effect on your productivity and I think that many believers today don't pay particular attention to how they start their day. Jesus Christ was always "on track" and he practiced this principle. Mark 1:35 (NLT) says “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”
Now, here's the problem: A lot of people start off their day wrongly. They miss the most important part of the day. They either rush to the bathroom (in a hurry to get out) or reach for their smart phones to check recent posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or latest replies on WhatsApp or new pings. (I have also made this mistake in the past.) That's how to get a bad start to a precious new day.
Get in the habit of, first of all, being still before the Father. Stay quiet. Worship God. Pray in tongues. This will help you see what the Lord has for you for that particular day. Many times, I've stayed quiet, awake but still in bed, and God would show me what the day would look like or something strategic I needed to do or things I should have done better the previous day. It's very important that we start each day well. The enemy knows how important this spiritual exercise is and that's why he's surreptitiously introducing a new culture into the body of Christ - one of seeking first for social media.
I encourage you, when you wake up in the morning, before you grab your phone and begin discussing with people; stay quiet - be still. Worship and reverence God aloud or in your mind; get into a receptive mode, even before you start to pray. You will be amazed by the great things He will do in your life.
Make every day of your life productive by ensuring you get a good start each day.