Why is it, on those days, that I seem to try and reason that it must, surely, be more effort for me to get out of bed than anyone else? Ridiculous.
I’ll admit that many times I resign myself to these feelings and just accept the dread, worry, anger, sadness or dis-satisfaction that greet me with my alarm. I might then check Facebook for a pick me up or grab a cuppa to wake me up. But, it doesn’t have to be like this. There is a choice to be made.
Sometimes when I’m with my mum, with widespread secondary cancer, she will ask me to join her in morning prayer. Since she went to Ffald-Y-Brenin, a healing retreat centre, she has followed a rhythm of prayer booklet, making time for God morning and evening. I admire her persistence and her passion to get Christians together in her street to pray for every local household is amazing.
However, I can’t stress enough that, on mornings like I described above, the LAST thing in the world I want to do – or feel I can do – is let go of my sulky mood and joyfully sing/say: “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (part of the morning session prayer booklet).
That song is more than a cringe fest! The old tune is so hard to squeeze out of me, even though I try. I suddenly feel like I might as well be clutching a group of old ladies by the hand, and beaming at each one of them, tapping my foot in time with the tambourine, about to start a rendition of “Count your blessings… name them one, by one.”
Every fibre in my being objects, but then, I decided that if my mum can choose to be thankful and joyful with all she is facing, I should at least try, so I made myself. It was weird – by the end of the first verse I still had my teeth clenched but it became a little easier to sing and then by mid-chorus it was as if the weight was tangibly lifting from my shoulders. I can only attribute it to the fact that I had chosen to be grateful for my life and the day I had been given; I had chosen to include God and He had surprised me with joy.
I remembered that my mum used to spout a phrase: “Choose your attitude!” A phrase that would hurtle through the air toward me like a flying cheese grater, mainly because I simply didn’t want to change.
But what right have I got to be miserable? It seems to me that it is far too easy to focus selfishly on the one or two things that we are lacking or are unhappy with; but if only we lifted our head and looked around we would see that the number of reasons to give thanks would far outweigh that petty few. Life, breath, love, energy, a roof, food, friends and Jesus to name a few. 10,000 seems to be a number banded around at the moment.
“I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter his courts with praise. I will say this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice, for He has made me glad.
“O my soul praise, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103).
They say there is power in proclaiming things aloud that makes the heart choose to believe truth. Although I tend to be sceptical on these things, I tell you, it is amazing. Afterwards, I may not be swinging from the chandeliers or dancing an Irish jig, however I am feeling much more uplifted and ready to face the day with my new attitude.
It might have taken me a while but I think I have finally realised that there is another option available on those dreary mornings. A decision to start with God, resist basing my faith on my feelings and make a choice to state/sing my praise and thanks to God, to open my eyes to everything I have to be thankful for – which is a lot.
Try it, after all ….you never know what blessings might follow.
Image by Jocilyn Pope via stock.xchng images.