I woke up happy this morning. If you have been following my blog, you know that is this something of a coup. I opened my eyes at 6:00, before either of my kids had stirred, and though I did continue to relax and enjoy my bed for another 30 minutes or so, I got up cheerfully and somewhat energetically. I made a pot of some of the fantastic coffee we picked up at the Rockwall Farmer's Market last Saturday. (If you live in my neighborhood and are a coffee person, check out the FreshLife folks over there...fresh,organic, fair trade goodness.) Holy cow! I'm a morning person! I'm telling you, our God is a God of miracles.
So far it seems the greatest thing about being a morning person is that you get some "me" time. I can't remember the last time I didn't do my morning devotional to the accompaniment of the "Yo, Gabba, Gabba" or "Dora the Explorer" theme songs. Mornings are normally my kids TV time so that Mommy can drink her coffee, read her Bible, and thereby not pinch their heads off. I was able to eat my breakfast mindfully, savoring the food and the quiet. I watered the plants in my backyard and it was under 100 degrees outside. It was very nearly, almost pleasant out there.
Of course, they got up, but, almost like they sensed the change in the air, they didn't ask for the TV to be turned on. They started the morning reading books with my grandmother and now then running around the house playing Spiderman and Batgirl. They seemed really happy too.
I love old-fashioned Christian music. Our lullabies growing up were old hymns like "Victory in Jesus" and "Love Lifted Me." Being a preacher's kid, we had hymnals around the house and I spent my childhood going through them and belting out the ones I knew or playing them on my recorder. (Wow. That must have been annoying...) Anyway, one of the best recordings of any good ol' gospel song is "Oh Happy Day" by The Edwin Hawkins Singers. It was featured in the movie "Secretariat" and, yes, it made me cry. There is also a contemporary Christian song called simply "Happy Day" by Fee and, while I used to dislike contemporary Christian music, it's growing on me and this song, among others, are now on iPod's Top 25 Most Played list.
The truth, and the basic idea of either song, is that really every day is a happy day because we are forgiven. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God and can enjoy not only an eternity in heaven but also peace, hope, and joy here on earth. Faced with that reality, it seems like it would be hard to be unhappy. But we are, aren't we? It's not normal to wake up like Cinderella in her tower, singing a song of praise along with the little birdies despite her desperate life circumstances. In general, we accept it as fact that we are going to wake up on most mornings sleepy and already a little stressed at best. On more mornings than I can count, I have awakened downright miserable, the simple act of getting out of bed seeming to be more than I can bear. I accepted that as my "normal."
I don't think that this is God's normal. I think it is His will for us all to wake up as I did this morning, happy and excited to face a new day full of glory and possibilities. Why wouldn't we? If we lived in conscious awareness of the truth we would. The truth is that we are unconditionally loved, that we are completely forgiven of every bad thing we have ever done, will do or even just thought about doing. The truth is that we don't have to stress; we have a companion and a guide to lead us through our everyday lives (every day) if we will just listen, trust our hearts for His wisdom, and obey. It should be weird to wake up sad and grumpy. I know some of you just scoffed, but that is because we all accept the lie that it is normal and possibly mandatory to be stressed out and incomplete. If we are believers in Christ, however, we are made complete in Him. Any yearning in our hearts can be satisfied by God if we will seek Him. Our needs will be met, our prayers answered. That is really good news and it is the Truth. So I'm going to cling to these truths, I am going to claim them and to meditate on them, every hour of every day. And, I guarantee you, I'm going to have a happy day.