I have been a night owl since I can remember. My wife (a morning person to beat all morning people) has asked me a million times – why don’t you just go to bed? I don’t have a credible answer to that, except that I don’t. Every night around 11 I tell myself I need to get to bed, but something deep inside me fights that decision.
Of course, as a confirmed night owl, I have a serious allergy to mornings. They are of the devil! I think if I had the freedom to set my own schedule I’d be on a 2 or 3 AM bedtime with a wake-up call at 9 or 10 AM – followed by a strong pot of coffee to get me through till noon and the demise of the AM hours.
My first pastorate was in a rural area of Virginia. These were folks that considered “sleeping in” to be anything past 6:30 AM. They considered my night owl schedule to be a de facto sign of sluggardliness. It really mattered to them.
I’ve fought my night-owl-ness since college, a losing battle, always feeling a little guilty because I have wondered if being a morning person is somehow inherently better than being a night owl.
But does it matter? I’m going to be awake between 16 to 18 hours a day (sometimes more). Does it matter if my sleep hours are from 10 PM to 6 AM or from 1 to 9? Is there any biblical, spiritual or moral imperative that makes the morning person’s schedule superior to the night owl’s?
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” said Ben Franklin. But was he right? Morning people are generally confident that their lifestyle is preferable to mine. Have you ever heard a night owl brag about how late he stayed up? Have you ever known a morning person who DIDN’T brag at least a little about how early they get up?
Do we need to be morning people to be good ministers of the gospel? Can a preacher sleep in and still serve Jesus efficiently and effectively? Does it make a difference?
I was up late last night. I’m going to go take a nap while you guys talk about this.