I woke up this morning, after little sleep, grumbling about all I had to do. Why? Among other things, it wasn’t until 11:00pm last night that my daughter realized that she had to make cookies for her school bake sale. It was 11:30pm that my son realized he needed a flash drive for school the next morning. Needless to say, it was well after midnight before I got to bed, angry about the lack of planning in my household. And my short sleep didn’t improve my frame of mind. After about an hour of stewing while doing the morning routine, I reminded myself that I can never get back time. Every moment that passes is a moment that can never be regained, and I want to spend each of my precious moments in a state of joy. Not only for me, but for my family, friends, and everyone I come in contact with. But how? You can’t just flip a switch and make your emotions go away. You can’t just flip a switch and make circumstances change.
What I realized this morning is that joy takes the deliberate work of focusing on something other than what is annoying you – in short, it takes connecting with God. This can be done anywhere, anytime, but, in my experience, it takes intentionality. As the Psalms clearly model for us, we are meant to pray with emotion, thereby venting to God rather than dumping on others (God can handle it). We are meant to work hard, do our best, but release the outcome to a God that has a plan. We are created to appreciate the Godly gifts of beauty in nature and each other. In short, what I am going to do today is three simple things: Pray, Release, Appreciate. Pray, Release, Appreciate.
Associate Pastor Emeritus, Greg Zehner