Have you ever watched people while they’re driving? I love to watch people no matter what they’re doing. When people are in their cars, I don’t think they think anyone can see them most of the time. I remember as a child sitting on the porch with my great uncle having a race to see who could count the most cars of a certain color. Then one day, I graduated to eating lunch with my friend at a restaurant on a busy street and we began counting how many people were picking their nose as they drove by. I would have to say, I am no mathematician, but the statistics were high for my hometown that at least 3 out of every 5 cars had a nose-picker!
Lately I’ve been traveling a lot up and down the highway and have observed several different behaviors. Of course, there are still the nose-pickers, but I’ve also seen others engaging in conversations on their cell phones, (it’s legal here in Ohio), others who are texting (it’s not legal in Ohio), and some who are singing to what appears to be at the top of their lungs (that would be me when I am alone in a car). Others hold their steering wheels tightly all hunched over it with their eyes glaring at the road and at anyone who gets in their way. I pray for them…what a miserable way to be.
The other day after driving for 45 minutes with a worshipful CD playing and me singing my heart out to God all the way, I arrived at my destination. I walked in on top of the world and announced very loudly, “Isn’t it a GREAT day? The sunshine is out and I just LOVE it!”
I saw expressions that quickly said to me… “Perhaps you’re a little extra excited today, Lori? Maybe you should take it down a few notches so you don’t scare everyone with your enthusiasm?”
Later that day, one person came to me to see how I was doing. He said, “The sun went down and I thought I should check on you to make sure you were doing OK!” Funny as it might be, he didn’t understand where my joy was coming from that I was experiencing. It wasn’t really about the sun at all.
Isn’t this how our walk with the Lord is from day-to-day? Sometimes we can be seen (even when we think no one is watching), pretty indifferent, just picking our noses so to speak. Then other days we’re all talk and no action…blah, blah, blah…what a waste of time. Other times we’re pushing the edge of the envelope to see how far we can push the rules before someone notices our behavior and calls us on it. Other days we are just downright angry with God for our misfortunes as though it was His fault. Really?
But the important lesson I’ve learned in all of this, is this. I’ve been having a struggle of my life for the last month getting through all of my radiation treatments and all that goes along with it. There were days I just wanted to lay around and pick my nose and not care besides being angry as all get out at times. If I had a horn to blow at anyone getting in my way, it would’ve been going off there for a while! However, as a Christian for many years, I intellectually knew I had to put God first and praise Him even through the rough times. The scriptures tell us we should, but it is easier said than done. A few weeks ago, I included a song at the end of my blog by Chris McClarney, “My Defender”. God knows praise through the storms isn’t always easy. However, I felt He gave me that song to encourage me, so I purchased the CD and it is what has been playing every day when I commute. The whole CD has prayerful and praiseful messages that touch my core as I belt out the words to God.
At the moment I found myself over-the-top enthusiastic about a day that I had nothing visible to be enthusiastic about, God spoke to my heart. I realized then that the attitude I choose to embrace each day ends with a result of my choices. Should I choose to be indifferent, speak without actions, or push the envelope because I have problems and maybe God will forgive me, or simply remain angry; I get what I get. However, on the days I put God first even when I don’t feel like it or don’t really think anything will take me above my anger such as the uptight drivers I’ve witnessed, God takes me to the mountain-top. He makes me high on life no matter what my circumstances might be.
Even when the world doesn’t understand my enthusiasm, God does. I know this for sure…He blesses us with Sunshine in our hearts when we obey…even when we don’t feel like it. Thank you, Lord, for meeting us where we are on our days of darkness. You are the Sunshine of our lives! May you continue to Shine brightly and bring joy when we choose to follow Your way! Have a great Sunshiny week and don’t forget…go out and be a blessing!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.