Some time ago I saw a Facebook comment: it was advice a pastor had given to his now-grown, pastor son.
He told his son, "Someone in your church will always be unhappy. Make sure it's not you."
Over the past few years, one of the themes of my devotional life has been joy. Getting it. Keeping it. Abiding in it. Joy is the second-mentioned aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, second only to love.
Nehemiah told his weeping citizens, "This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" (Ne 8.10b NLT) Since reading that, I have often been reminded that every day is a sacred day, a holy day, the source of the word holiday. I often try to find some reason to celebrate each day. Did you know this Friday is National Avocado Day? Guacamole anyone?
Today I got an email that pointed me to a Facebook post quoting an 87-year-old man. He’s lived through and seen it all. He said, "I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people around me…Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines. ‘Husband loves wife today.’ 'Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s…’ And patting the writer’s hand, "‘Old man makes new friend.’"
Today, you get to write your own headline. Today, your life doesn’t have to be defined by others’ headlines, or the hot (radioactive?) topics on social media. Perhaps, like me, joy doesn’t come naturally to you. But today, you can choose to recognize that every day—including this one—is a "sacred day before our Lord." Every day for those God has "created anew in Christ Jesus," he has "good things he planned for us long ago" to do. (Ep 2.10 NLT)
What headline will you write for today?