Most of this morning, I thought about JOY.
I was in church today and kept thinking about how exciting it is to be a believer! I mean, this particular season exemplifies the JOY in believing, doesn't it?
If you can strip away the usually self-induced anxiety, and remember how it was when you were a child. This is a time of miracles around every corner.... and isn't life like that anyway? You really never DO know how you will be blessed... and you WILL be blessed!
The key, I think, is to know this. And to be ready. And prepared. To first of all - RECOGNIZE the blessing (because it may not SEEM like a blessing at first :-)
*** What do I mean here?
Well.. in cultural terms.... a fat man in red suit breaking into your house? In Christian terms.... the chaos of the end times? Or maybe in MY daily life... a car breaking down (which, in turn might mean a blessed day at home where I can get caught up instead of running around like a maniac OR feel guilty for not running around like a maniac)
And second of all... to ACCEPT the blessing. (How many times do YOU back down from something that isn't 'normal' or 'usual'?)
Being grateful for the car breaking down?
Saying thank you for a compliment instead of putting it off.... 'You look great today!... THANK YOU' not 'You look great today!.... Really? I feel awful... I'm sniffling and my head hurts' It feels GOOD to simply say THANK YOU and go on about your day remembering that you got a compliment - even helps with the headache sometimes
Like fat man in a red suit breaking in to GIVE instead of TAKE AWAY
Like chaos and turmoil signalling the advent of the second coming..
Letting go of your emotions (FEAR) and remembering that you aren't in charge is accepting a blessing!
And, third.... being GRATEFUL for the blessing!
This, I think is the hardest! Not because we aren't grateful - but because we have the attention span of a gnat! We take and process.... and are moving on to the next thing.
To be truly grateful requires that we STOP.
SO... instead of mulling over all the pains and heartaches and problems.... try to spend a little time today mulling over the GOOD STUFF
the healthy parts of your life.... the precious time you have to give.... the smell of something baking.... the fresh cold air on your face.... maybe be a child today and remember the excitement you had!
What will you do today to feel the joy?