The Joy Jolt
I roll over and look at the clock: 4:11 a.m. After 3 weeks in South Africa with my family for a combination 25th wedding anniversary and Christmas vacation, I'm wide awake and still operating on a different timezone. I've given up trying to sleep and instead I just settle in to think and pray.
I don't deny that I'm feeling a little melancholy so I grab onto the feeling and process it.
We just got back from our trip yesterday afternoon and it's a bit of a shock back into reality. We've gone from the southern hemisphere mid-summer high's in the 80's to -8 in Colorado. I have a 7:30 a.m. meeting this morning. It's a new year and I don't have a particularly grandiose, energizing vision for 2017. I'm out of rhythm on my eating and exercise disciplines. There's also some other undefined "heaviness" that's hanging over me.
The bottom line is that I've got a classic case of the blah's.
Then it hits me -- for the 100th time --that the one thing that can never be taken away by circumstances or people is my attitude. I can choose to wallow in the blah's or choose gratitude.
So I muse through my life:
- First of all, literally everything that's bringing me down is a first world problem. We saw shocking squalor in South Africa and I have a job that actually makes a positive impact in places like that.
- I actually have a job... and a house keeping me and my family warm.
- Since I'm awake early, I have plenty of time to get a workout in before my 7:30.
- I'm healthy enough to workout
- Since I'll be working out, I'll get to listen to the bible this morning instead of rushing out of the house.
- I can't change what I ate and drank over the holidays, but I can change what I eat and drink today.
- Today, I'm going to see 6 of my closest buddies in my men's group that I have known and "done life with" for 10+ years.
- I remind myself of a beautiful insight God delivered to me during a mountain bike in South Africa that helped me break through a big decision I had been wrestling with for weeks.
- 20 hours of flying in a steel tube yesterday was painful, but I had a great conversation with a young South African follower of Christ who just broke up with his girlfriend who was struggling with where God is in his life.
And then, just like that, I realize the fog is gone. My gratitude has zapped the blah's. And joy takes it's rightful residence.
Moral of the story?
1. Count your blessings.
2. Choose joy.
3. Focus on receiving God's love and passing it onto others.
Works like a charm every time!
Romans 8:6 "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."