Dust Yourself Off…

I cannot say that I fully understand why I woke up with a gray cloud over my head. It certainly wasn’t the bed’s fault, both sides of the thing are quite comfortable and I exit either way often.  I believe I got enough sleep…my frown doesn’t need to be turned upside-down…and certainly nothing happened to my corn flakes. It was just a bad day.

I felt bad. I shuffled instead of walked. I found myself chewing my food longer than usual and playing plate hockey with my remaining lunch and spork. I was not very energetic…my self-esteem plummeted…and on top of it all, I literally spilled coffee on my shirt.

Someone once said that nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around! Ha! But, to be honest, I didn’t even really have the “umph” to do that! It was “blah” from beginning to end.

So, I ask you. What next? What do you do when you’re dealt that hand? Fold? Yeah….no. You can’t. If you folded every time you were dealt a luke, warm hand, eventually nobody would want to play with you. They’d bust out the Wii and bowl.

There’s another saying that I like a lot: “Pick myself up. Dust myself off. And start all over again.” When a baseball player strike outs, they can think about their actions as they walk back to the dugout. But, what if you were hit by the pitch. Sure the game moves onward and you take your base…but you didn’t ask for that. It certainly wasn’t the outcome you were hoping for. And sometimes it hurts!

Mondays are tricky. People tend to get things stuck in their heads that Mondays are, by nature, the “Bad” day. The day to look out for. The beginning of yet another long stretch of…whatever you do.

So, here’s what I did to over come this blue-ness….this abnormal state of mind. Prayed. SAW THAT COMING, DID YOU? But, let me explain. I didn’t FEEL better. My blue day went on. That power bomb prayer in the morning didn’t clear my head, like Allegra clears my sinuses! I still “sniffled!”

First and foremost, I don’t think it’s fair to pray and say “Lord…please make me less blue.” How selfish. I have a friend who just lost her husband. I have a student who’s sister is very ill. I have a beloved Grandmother who just got out of major surgery and a mother who healing from surgery as well. Me thinks I’d feel a midge selfish in my request when these much more serious “issues” need more attention. Really…how dare I even think about asking for a less blue day.

But…as I sit here in my office crunching out this post…mere seconds away from midnight and the start of another day…I really don’t think small “requests” (for lack of better words) are be a bad idea. I’m not looking forward to facing tomorrow, but every time I’m FACED with anything, a travel through the pages of Scripture seems a heck of a lot easier that a stroll through any other avenue. Poor excuse for cracking open the Word…but, that’s the cool thing about the Bible. You don’t need an excuse.

ISAIAH 40:29-31
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I guarantee you will wake up one of these days in the near future and find yourself quite miserable. You’ll be sore, and achy. Your coffee will be bitter, the sound of the dogs barking will make you angry for no apparent reason. The radio plays nothing but commercials, your lose your keys, the streetlights turn yellow upon your every approach, and the copy machines at work will jam. Or, perhaps it will be more subtle. Your skin will crawl. Your conscious does battle with your heart. Or, maybe you’re just lonely.

Whatever it is, your personal walk with Christ that day will make an extended long day seem short and approachable. Try this little trick. You need two people to do the trick. Have one person read the following list of number to you without pausing.

6,7,2,4,5,9,1,0,5,0,2,4,3,7,5,3,8,3,5,7,0,1,5,8

After they are done (without looking back at this post!) name the MIDDLE number. Can you? Off the TOP of your head? It’s hard, isn’t it. I’d be surprised if anyone could do that. But I challenge you to the the following exercise again…but this time your partner will ready you FOUR sets of numbers.

6,4,8     5, 7, 9      1, 4, 0      2, 5, 7

Now…name ALL FOUR GROUPS’ middle numbers. Why can you do that easier? It’s because your approach is different. You identifying things in a different way. I’m a busy guy and have a million things to do in a day. But, I have found a very cool routine of going to the Lord in prayer NOT ONCE a day…NOT just at night….but many, many times a day. In between classes, before lunch, after a disparaging comment or a sad thought. Standing in front of my class will all eyes fixed on me, I’ve prayed. Like the exercise above, this process is not hard…and it doesn’t have to be lengthy.

As you get into this routine, and dice and slice these “moments” in your day to bits, you will be able to approach a tornado with confidence that the storm will indeed pass.

This is not a quick fix, mind you. God’s not going to smite all things making your miserable. Instead, God will HEAR you and by continually allowing God to be PART of your day by calling on Him, you will be able to face anything.

This method and ultimately my Lord….(*deep breath*)….is my Gatorade on a hot day…my aloe vera for my sunburn….my softest tissue for my sore nose…and the comfy pillow for my aching head. God knows. God believes, God cares. God loves. You just gotta let him in on things. Every single day. Don’t save up your one-on-one “God time” for a rainy day. Start now….in fact, go to the Lord right now. Take a moment.

***PRAY***

May the Lord bless you and your day today…and the many blue days in the future.

“Help me to stand by your grace and look the whole world in the face, and sing your word wherever I go. When the tempter comes around Lord give me strength to turn him down, and help me stand Lord the way you stood long ago.” (From “Help Me Stand Lord” by Jeff)
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One Response to “Dust Yourself Off…”

  1. I agree with everything that was said and if we have a hard time with something we need to just try again and try not to worry about what happened the first time. There is no point in bringing yourself down because you messed up one time or even if a couple times, you should just dust yourself off. I think that if we pray that God will give us the motovation that we need to get through what we are trying to do. I don’t think that if we just sit there and pray it will come to us, I think that we need to try and not just sit around. If you do what you need to do and accomplish it , it is always because of God. It is just like if you were to sit here and pray for a million dollars your not going to get it by just sitting here, you will need work for it. Even if you inherit it you will need to fill out papers and other things to go along with it. I think you should should try always and God will always be there.

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