Its 3 o’clock in the morning and you’re asleep in your 68.5 inch long by 34.5 inch wide steal bed laying on you 3 inch foam mattress and the small curtain that is your only sense of privacy is ripped open and a flash light is shined in your eyes and you’re told in a commanding voice, “Next Watch!” The only thought that comes to your mind is, “and I signed up for this? Well it’s only four years.” Some how you muster up the strength to get out of bed and go to the bathroom to get ready for the day; you’ve got the 4 to 8 in the morning watch.
As you walk into Main Control in the engine room you’re greeted with the morning work list; “transfer fuel to both day running tanks for the main diesel engines and generators, also transfer and fill all the JP4 (jet fuel) tanks for today’s helicopter operations. You need to make sure the water tanks are topped off for the day and both of the ships small boats need to be checked and fueled for law enforcement operations and ooh yeah, “good morning!!!” and don’t forget your hourly engine room rounds and also the #2 main diesel engine has a small leak and needs oil every couple of hours so make sure you keep an eye on that.”
The morning watch aboard a ship is one the most important of the day it get’s the ship ready for the day’s operations. I spent 8 years in the Coast Guard and am very familiar with the 4-8 in the morning watch. I spent many mornings in the engine room with a work list just like the one I described and some how I always managed to finish it before I was relieved by the next watch stander.
I’ve been thinking lately about what it would mean to set the morning watch in my spiritual life. As a lust addict I need to make sure that I’m filling myself every morning with scripture or else I’ll find myself dead in the water when temptations come my way. Much like the diesel engines on board ship if I hadn’t filled those fuel tanks in the morning, when they were need to power the ship and they had no fuel in those tanks we would have found ourselves dead in the water.
Think about it, what if you were to set the morning watch on you mind, eyes, mouth, heart, and feet wouldn’t you feel that much more prepared to face the day.
So let’s set the watch;
• The mind;
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
Romans 8:5 (ESV)
Pray for purity of the mind and the strength to capture those lust filled thoughts that can fill our head and surrender them to God.