This, remember, is the message you heard from the beginning:
we should love one another. 1 John 3:11
A storm is brewing just beyond my window. I’m still reeling over the abundance of rain which flooded parts of our neighborhood a few weeks ago. Though our local television meteorologist offers encouragement with a promise that sunshine will return tomorrow, she fails to dispel the gray which lurks beyond my window today.
It occurs to me that my knowledge of human nature fails me as much as my understanding of weather patterns on occasion. I sometimes ignore this wisdom and “push buttons” that would best be left alone. Though I know well what will come next if I attempt to have the last word, I speak in spite of myself. When the thunder in my adversary threatens, I push when I should let go. I forget to let love take care.
Today, as the rain continues, I will continue in my own effort to dispel the gray clouds from my attitude and to let the sun shine in.
Dear God, though the weather is very much out of my control, my attitudes and actions are my own. Help me to use them both with love and good will.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24
R is for Rejoice. Though I’ve selected this uplifting R word, I realize that life on this earth doesn’t always give us reason to rejoice. On occasion, the only way to deal with this reality is to accept that things are what they are and to move on. Still, when I choose to move on, I do so reluctantly. I’m not fully convinced that the situation I’ve abandoned can’t be improved at least a little.
Last week, I had a very close encounter with negative forces. Rather than adding more negativity to the mix, I decided to be a positive catalyst. Perhaps I could give all concerned a bit of hope. Though my stomach was in knots as I plugged along, my effort paid off in the end. While I didn’t change much, I did manage to help those involved to adjust their attitudes. We turned our resignation into an opportunity to rejoice that things weren’t any worse. The most important aspects of all of this were the decisions of those concerned to be positive. I “decided” not to add to the negativity and my friends “decided” to jump onto my bandwagon. Together, we infused joy into a tough situation.
We can make the choice to rejoice and be glad anytime and anywhere. Today, I’m choosing to abandon my resignation about this less-than-perfect world. Today, I’m choosing to rejoice and to be glad.
Dear God, thank you for our capacity to rejoice and our ability to choose to do so. May our efforts transform the imperfections of this world one choice at a time.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
I have only vague memories of rare “bad” days when I seemed to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. Though I never figured out which side of the bed was “wrong,” a dear friend showed me how to begin every day with a positive attitude.
Carol and I had known one another for a year when her husband was transferred and their family relocated to a distant city. We had become fast friends, so this loss was difficult for both of us. We kept in touch via the phone and email. I also kept Carol in the loop regarding our church by sending her our parish bulletin each week. When our first Christmas apart arrived, Carol sent me a daily devotional to thank me for my effort. Though this was a completely unnecessary gesture, it has had long-lasting and life-changing ramifications.
It took only a few weeks for that devotional to become part of my daily routine. I found that I remembered to read it every day if I did so first thing in the morning. Though every reflection wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, each author managed to cast a positive light on the new day. Ever since, regardless of what life brings my way, this attitude adjuster assists me in facing everything with hope and joy. That devotional also inspired me to do the same for others through my own books and these posts. One never knows just how powerful a single act of kindness can be.
Loving God, help us all to begin every new day with joyful anticipation of the things to come. May our example give others reason to do the same.