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The Best Time of Day
February 2022 – An American from the West Coast, a father of three children, one of whom is differently abled, a husband,
Brian Berg is an entrepreneur and a member of the board of L’Arche USA.
Brian tells us here about how he nourishes his inner life.
Connecting with God
My wife laughs at the way I jump out of bed to greet each day. I’ve long started my days in the early mornings, before my family awakens, giving myself some personal, quiet time to nurture my soul by connecting with myself, my Creator, my world, and my relationships. My body has learned to react to the anticipation of this special time of day, and (most days) it leaps out of bed with the first buzz of the alarm clock.
This time of year, I enjoy how the day usually starts with fumbling about in the dark trying to start a cozy fire in our fireplace, while in the summer, with the sun already up, I enjoy the coolest part of the day before the summer heat settles in. Sipping on a strong cup of coffee to get my mind and body revving, I take time to connect with my Loving Creator God. Spiritual reading helps focus my mind and nourish my spirit for the day, creating space that leads to prayer, meditation, and reflection. This time of centering prepares me to connect with my upcoming day in a spirit of discernment as I look through my calendar and prioritize my to do list, while thinking about the people I will encounter during the day.
Connecting with the other
After this nurturing time alone, it’s time for me to receive nourishment by opening my heart to others as I invest in my most important relationships. My wife and I start most days in God’s beautiful nature, walking, talking, and praying with each other. This has proven to be such a beneficial practice for our relationship! We know that we have this space every morning to pray together, plan our day and our lives, and talk about our most intimate thoughts with each other – all while staying healthy!
This is also a special time to connect with creation. We live in the country, in an agricultural area, and we are blessed to walk each morning amongst beautiful nut orchards that are ever changing with the seasons and weather. While they’re bare amongst a mystical, shimmering, foggy sun this time of year, soon their blossoms will be lit up with a sparkling, glowing late winter sun, which leads to branches that droop with the weight of dusty, green nuts maturing towards harvest later in the summer.
Like everyone, I have good days and bad days, and I wish I were more disciplined, more productive, more loving, more this and that. Most days my prayer is not focused and my attempts at centering are scattered. There are days when I struggle to find things to talk about with my wife, and our time of prayer together feels more like a way to escape rather than fortify our relationship. There are many days where the prospects of the upcoming day seem overwhelming or uninspiring.
Yet, I’ve learned to respect the importance of this early morning time for my general well-being. I trust the process of this routine, and by the time I’m ready to actually start my day, my life usually feels brighter, my direction more clear and my soul more nourished. For me, the early morning, with its silence and new beginnings, really is the best time of day!