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Jan 16

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Slay the Dragon before Breakfast

I awoke this morning to the dragon’s hot breath on my face. I was disoriented, not quite knowing where I was. I struggled to open one eye. Then another.

And there he was. A dragon. A very big dragon. With three heads. Sitting in my bedroom, like so many mornings before, he was waiting. His heads swerved back and forth, dancing in the dim light. Each head alternately belching fire and hissing smoke.

I groaned. Here we go again, I thought. If only I could shut my eyes and will him away. No such luck. His presence only grew more menacing.

I knew that I had to act. I leapt from the bed and ran straight at him. I have learned by experience that my only chance at victory is to slay the dragon while it is still dark. Before the first rays of sunshine strengthen his already substantial advantage.

Fortunately, once again I prevailed. But my victory is short-lived. I will face him again tomorrow. And the day after that.

Although this sounds like a fairy tale, it’s not. It’s my reality, day after day.

I face a dragon named Lethargy every morning. It has three heads:

Pneuma (spiritual),

Soma (physical), and

Nous (intellectual).

If I don’t slay this dragon before breakfast, he usually gets the best of me. After breakfast—when the day’s activities are crowding into my life—my chances of doing battle and winning drop dramatically. Sometimes I can emerge victorious. But rarely.

My chances are better if I get in my basic disciplines before I get assaulted with the demands of the workday.

So, before breakfast, I complete the following:

  1. Read the Bible. I use this Sword to cut off the dragon’s middle head. I don’t know why it is so hard to defeat, but it is. A thousand and one distractions vie for my attention. That’s why I grab a cup of fresh coffee, head to my favorite chair, and begin reading at once.

The Scriptures prime the pump and strengthen my resolve. If I can cut off the middle head of spiritual lethargy, the other two go down much easier. Currently, I am reading through the Bible in a year, using Disciple Bible Reading Plan or the Disciple Bible Reading Plan 5X5.

  1. Engage in exercise. I use this weapon to cut off the dragon’s left head: physical lethargy. Sometimes, I think this is even more important than the middle head. Why? Because if I am not exercising regularly, it negatively impacts every other area of my life. It becomes more difficult to manage stress. I find that I just don’t have the energy to fight the other beasts I encounter.

Currently, the dragon is getting the best of me here. I got some Kettle weights for Christmas, but I haven’t been as faithful here as I should.  Weather permitting, I run outside.  It’s helpful to have an accountability partner.

  1. Listen to books. I use this weapon to cut off the dragon’s right head: intellectual lethargy. I learned a long time ago that “leaders read and readers lead.” By definition a leader (as opposed to a mere manager) stays out in front of his people. To lead, you have to set the pace. You have to be a thought leader.

The problem I have is that it is difficult for me to sit still. I have a hard time finding a long enough stretch in the day to sit down and really read. I keep getting interrupted—or distracted.

However, by downloading books from Audible.com onto my Kindle or mp3, I can listen to books while I’m working out. Honestly, there are days when I hate to stop exercising because I am so engrossed in my book. It makes the time fly by.

Though I don’t do it before breakfast, I have one other discipline that I try to practice daily: PRAYER. I find that the best time for me to pray is in the car. This was easy when I had a commute to St. Marys. It usually took 35–40 minutes, so I had plenty of time. Now, I take advantage of any trip in the car. It’s become my rolling “prayer closet.”

So what are your biggest dragons? What is your strategy for defeating them before breakfast?

This post was edited from the original written by Michael Hyatt

http://michaelhyatt.com/slay-your-dragons-before-breakfast.html

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.stevegedon.com/2012/01/16/slay-the-dragon-before-breakfast/

1 comment

  1. Cyndy

    Pat the narrator on the back!

    Not because he is attempting to “slay the dragon before breakfast” but because he sees the dragon; he knows the dragon exists; and because, whether he is successful each and every day or not and whether the dragon lives to fight another day or not, at least the narrator tries, at least he chooses — and that makes all the difference — he chooses to wage the battle of “slaying of the dragon before breakfast.”

    Many people awaken, hit the snooze alarm and go back to sleep, never knowing — and that’s the worst part: never knowing — never knowing that a dragon, a fire-breathing dragon, a dragon causing an absence of the presence of God for that person for all of eternity is ever-crouching in order to pounch on and devour its unsuspecting and vulnerable prey. They choose also, but their choice is to live with the “eyes that don’t see and the ears that don’t hear.” How vulnerable to any and all of the dragon’s attacks that makes them!

    Pat him on the back again and a smidgen harder and more congratulatory because he realizes what many don’t — that the battle for our souls and against the “dragon” or “prowling lion” or whatever you want to call the forces of evil that assail us constantly is not only daily but minute-by-minute or as a pastor friend of mine repeats frequently, “Just because you are baptized — and contrary to what most people think — your ticket to heaven is not automatically punched….” Or…in the words of the narrator, “I knew that I had to act. I leapt from the bed and ran straight at him. I have learned by experience that my only chance at victory is to slay the dragon while it is still dark. Before the first rays of sunshine strengthen his already substantial advantage. Fortunately, once again I prevailed. But my victory is short-lived. I will face him again tomorrow. And the day after that.”

    And pat the writer of this blog on his back for knowing, recognizing, and choosing — and this is the best part: choosing — choosing to use the weapons of his choice to battle his dragon, in this case, the dragon of lethargy.

    Pat the writer of this blog on the back as second time and a smidgen harder and more congratulatory for choosing as his “go-to weapon,” God, as He is revealed through His most holy and sacred Word; but to which, I would be remiss, in not suggesting that its companion weapon — prayer — be added.

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