Each Day Complete
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Not many people can choose to do only what they want in a given day. That's what makes vacations so enjoyable. Even if you love your work, a time of freedom from responsibility can be most welcome.
Some years ago my husband and I took a day off to enjoy a ride in the country. We had invited along a good friend, a "young" woman of advanced years whose particular charm was in not growing old at heart. It was a beautiful day, and as we emerged from city streets into the wide-open spaces of the country, she remarked, "Oh, it's so good to get out where I can stretch my eyes!" That day remains in my memory as a gem. We entered right into her spirit of joy, and from beginning to end the day was filled to the brim with pleasure.
Perhaps you have had days like this and have wondered why every day can't be just as enjoyable. Well, we can improve each day. We can put the right ingredients into any given day and see it as unique and delightful.
On that ride with our friend, one important ingredient was the joy we shared with one another. Joy, discovery, adventure, beauty, and love are all native to us as God's children. Expressing these qualities with an unselfish intent is sure to make any day better.
Another ingredient that brings joy is trust - trust in God. The reality of God's powerful goodness is the one fact we can always count on. God's plan for each of us is freedom. Freedom from fear or accident. Freedom from doubt or discouragement. Even freedom from disease. Would a good God have it any other way for us?
We can trust God and follow Him by listening for His guidance, and in this way find freedom from whatever troubles us. Christ Jesus attested to this freedom and set his own example. Although we may have a long way to go to be able to follow it completely, still, we can start. Today.
There was a time when I was working five days a week and had many additional responsibilities. Early on, I discovered that I did not have to wait for weekends or vacations to truly enjoy myself. I learned to place my trust in God and listen for His guidance, in order to make each day more fruitful and enjoyable. Listening to God means not listening to thoughts of discouragement, self-depreciation, condemnation of others, worry, or fear. We can refuse admittance to such unwelcome intruders of thought by shining the light of God's presence and power on any circumstance. Then we don't merely avoid error; we see the power of God's love annihilate it. Constant, prayerful listening to God often alters or adjusts our plans, bringing ideas and opportunities we might never otherwise have thought of. "If one would be successful in the future, let him make the most of the present.... Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much" (from "Improve Your Time," by Mary Baker Eddy, "Miscellaneous Writings," Pg. 230).
One of the most helpful things I learned was that I am the one who determines what is or is not enjoyable in my day. That which is useful and productive can always be enjoyable, even restful. To decide otherwise is self-defeating. Furthermore, I found that what I might initially think to be enjoyable in my off hours is not always so. Recreation can be wholesome, but goofing off is often tiring, disappointing, and frustrating. I've even noticed that some forms of entertainment leave me with emptiness, a sense of being cast off like an old candy wrapper. Lasting enjoyment can be found in both work and play.
The Bible says: "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted" (Ps. 89:15, 16). Not in our own righteousness, but in God's, are we exalted. We're lifted up in attitude and in satisfaction when we realize that God is in charge and that we are His worthy children. A day is a precious gift, and no matter what we do, it need not be something to just "get through."
You can, through work and prayer that praise God, find your days rich and fruitful. You can live the words of the 118th Psalm: "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."