Perhaps many of us would have never heard of (or been aware of) the impact of William Wilberforce if not for the movie “Amazing Grace.” 

In this wonderful film, we see the life and vision of Wilberforce chronicled. His perseverance is quite amazing as he hung in for a good chunk of his adult life fighting against the slave trade in England.

The film let’s us into his marvelous friendship with John Newton a former slave trader, but now a pastor as well as the writer of the well-known hymn “Amazing Grace.”

I am sure there are many contributing factors to Wilberforce’s life and legacy, but one in particular fascinates me.

Having a daily debrief with yourself and the Lord!

Gordon McDonald, in an issue of  “Leadership Journal,” shared some historical information about Wilberforce’s habits. According to McDonald’s research, Wilberforce says that one of the great secrets of his personal life was a regular habit of withdrawing from the craziness of public life to engage in “worship, connection with a small circle of friends and quiet reflection.” William not only set aside Sundays for corporate worship, but also began each day with a time of solitude for reflection. He described it as “pushing the reset button or sweeping out the heart.”  Quoting Wilberforce, “In the calmness of the morning before the mind is heated and weary by the turmoil of the day, you have a season of unusual importance for communing with God and with yourself.”

Garth Lean (who knew of Wilberforce’s routines) states, “In the day-to-day battle it was, more and more, these early morning hours…and his quiet Sundays that gave Wilberforce strength and perspective on himself and the world.”

Are you in a fierce battle? Do your days seem endless, hectic and harried? Are you finding it hard to persevere and keep a Christ-centered perspective? What are your morning routines like? What can you learn from William Wilberforce?

“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”-Psalm 5:3 ESV

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”-Mark 1:35 ESV