Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BLESS OR STRESS?

"There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them."
~Lawrence Welk

I knew the moment my alarm clock blared that I was in for one of those mornings. Disturbing dreams still clung to my thoughts. I willed myself out of the warmth of my bed and was immediately met with the smelly products of our cat's upset tummy.

Eager for a fresh perspective, I headed out the door. My entire yard was in need of watering, and broken sprinkler heads meant I'd have plenty of time to clear my head. But all that my eyes could see were the multitudes of weeds, brought in by the recent windstorm, that had taken root everywhere. I bit my lip to fight off ugly words that wanted to make their way out. Why do we have to be the only house on the block without a gardener, I complained inwardly.

My morning progressed in the same downward pattern. Sour moods, sick students, and a host of other annoyances jabbed at my nerves, determined to bring me down. I settled onto the couch, armed with my bag of devotions, ready to do battle. Surely there'd be some nugget that would provide a soothing balm for my ailing spirit.

It wasn't the message I expected ~ or wanted. "Serve."..."Serve with a joyful heart."..."Put others before yourself and seek to serve today." Are you kidding? I wanted nothing less. I needed words that would minister to ME.

Then it hit me. Once I got my pitiful eyes off of myself and my little irritants, I'd be freed from the power they were having on me. I realized the best way to get relief from my rough start was to take the focus off myself and put it smack onto God and others.

Okay, I'll admit it ~ I'm not yet "feeling the love". And I am not in a bubbly, joyful state of mind. I'm still dragging. But I have a fresh agenda now...fill my thoughts with Him, and look for creative and unexpected ways to bless others today, especially those who rubbed me the wrong way this morning.

I don't know how others will respond, or if they'll appreciate what I do. Maybe that shouldn't matter. I can still savor the day and spend it with God, and choose to look for ways to be a blessing.

Stress or bless? When I think of it that way, the answer is easy.

"There's nothing wrong or evil about having a bad day. There's everything wrong with making others have it...with you."
~Neil Cavuto

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

"Convert difficulties into opportunities, for difficulties are divine surgeries to make you better."
~Author Unknown

"Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles."
~Maltbie D. Babcock

"This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:24              

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