Don't worry; be happy
I usually go to bed relaxed. The coffee pot is filled and ready to be turned on in the morning, a terrific smell and taste that will be mine. But then in the morning the worries hit before I climb from bed. Why did I eat that piece of cake yesterday when I’m trying to lose weight? The joke that I thought was funny hurt her feelings. When am I finally going to answer those emails? Help, Lord, it’s a new day and before evening comes again, I want to do the things I’ve been putting off. And why do the innocent suffer, Lord? Please help the girls in Nigeria return to their families. Lots of concerns, too many of them self-centered, surface before I even flip the coffee maker switch.
The best answers are from the Bible and then a prayer posture that helps me and hopefully will help you if you have worrisome beginnings some days. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells Joshua, “The Lord himself goes before you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” — a reminder that we are not alone.
And the life-giving words Paul wrote to the young Christians in Philippi, “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Start the day with your mind on the pure and good.
Then there’s the prayer posture that makes the morning turn around to focus on the visibility of God’s presence on life’s journey. It’s worked for me for years. Sit in a chair with your palms turned down on your lap and think of all things on your list of anxieties. Take time to lay them before God. Now turn your palms upward and think of the many good things. This always brings a smile to me and eases the worry lines. Since the coffee maker is on, the smell of coffee or fresh oatmeal coming from the kitchen adds to the good feeling.
The words of my friend Art Swarthout on this page last week were helpful. Go out on the porch or take a walk and be grateful for the beauty and abundance of the earth.
And take Paul’s words in Romans 8 into your heart, “I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love – not life or death…not the present or the future. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Palms down, palms up, fresh air, and a new day begins.
Rev. Richard Ploch, firstname.lastname@example.org