“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46:10 (The Message)
Have you ever had a bad day? That’s probably like asking if you’ve ever sneezed or caught a cold. What constitutes “bad day” for you? Traffic jams? No cell phone service? Too many appointments and not enough “you”?
While the definition of “bad day” may be different for everyone, there are five things that each of us can do to combat and crush our bad day. Five things that can change our mindset and turn what began as a major loss to a huge victory.
I don’t take credit for thinking of these steps. The credit goes to Ignatius of Loyola as well as others in my life who have encouraged me to put into practice quite a few of these steps on a regular basis. This list is modified from various sources, not spoken verbatim.
The first step is to sit in God’s presence. This one really resonated with me. At the end of a long day when my body and mind are both tired and I know in a few short hours I have to get up and start all over again, I love lying in bed or sitting in my favorite chair… silently. Not talking. Just listening. I might ask God a question similar to this: “Is there something You want to tell me today?” and then just listen. Sometimes God will answer right away, sometimes I have to wait a while, and sometimes my mind is racing so fast that I continually refocus. Other times I fall asleep while waiting.
I don’t think any response is bad. God made me and He knows me. He knows my heart wants to truly hear what He wants to tell me and I believe that pleases Him. Sitting and listening quietly can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, but it’s also the most rewarding and when He answers, it makes me hungry for more.
The second step is worship who He is. This step is one that I started implementing long ago and I use it to begin each time I pray. Sometimes I will quickly thank God for something and then move on to the next stage of prayer. However, when life is especially trying and I’m emotionally drained, I use this time to reflect on who God is and remind myself of the promises we are given about Him in the Bible. This quiets my heart and I don’t rush this process. The more I initiate worship in prayer, the more I find I want to worship God at the beginning of prayer and the more I find I end up worshipping Him through song after I’m done praying. Even if I start out depressed and despondent, it’s hard to stay sad when speaking words of God providing, God healing, and God taking a hold of my right hand and reminding me not to fear anything to name but a few.
In addition, I will speak the various names of Jesus aloud. This alone instantly brings comfort to me. He is my Good Shepherd, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, El Shaddai, El Elyon, Adonai, the Alpha and the Omega, I AM, etc. I have literally fallen more in love with God by repeating back to Him His various names.
Come back next time and I will talk about the other steps that were shared with me… ways to turn a bad day into a beautiful adventure.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016