The glorious light of love
can melt darkness of gloom
This light can touch
hearts of people who have lost hope
It can encourage those who are fearful
Love can help us persevere
when despair and difficulties
lead us to question our ability to carry on
This light is not only given
to us by others
but also deep
This heavenly light
will give us the strength
and courage we need
to conquer any darkness
that blocks our way to peace
and caring for ourselves and others
This wonderful light is Jesus
Do you get up in the morning and want to pull the covers over your head, letting the world go on without you? I think we’ve all had days like that. It seems too hard to get up and fulfill all our responsibilities. In this chapter, we will look at how we could be living each day and reflect on some things that might need changing.
I have found that my attitude influences how I handle situations during the day. If I start the day thinking of what I have to do and how much I dread doing it, it will make the day much harder and less fulfilling. I am already telling myself, this is going not going to be a good day.
Have you ever met a person who finds something negative about everything? On a beautiful day you may comment, “Isn’t it nice out today?” They might reply, “Yes, but it’s really windy.” I tend to smile when I’m in these situations. At the same time, I find it sad. This person is unable to appreciate the simple joys of life. This person might even be ourselves. Maybe we get in that frame of mind, but we can laugh at ourselves and think, “Oh, there I go again!” At that moment, we can look around us and find something that shows God’s awesome creation. Maybe a flower, trees, the weather (if it is a nice day).
Let’s look at our day and see how we might face our tasks in a positive way. Suppose you need to take not only your child to school but two other children. You’re tired and not in the mood for a lot of noise. You don’t look forward to picking up the other children. Instead of thinking about how unpleasant it will be, think of how you could make it fun. Maybe have a cd in the car the children like. If you know the words, sing on the way to school. Play a game in the car, or talk about something fun the children are anticipating at school. In this instance, you are taking a situation you didn’t look forward to and turning it into a positive experience. You may say to yourself, “I didn’t want to do this, but I have control over my thoughts and how I plan to deal with it.” It might actually be fun.
What if we did this other daily activities? Try this for one day and see if it makes a difference. Am I asking you to ignore the difficulties in life and see everything through rose colored glasses? No. I am asking that you look at life realistically. For example, if you are like me, you don’t like to go the dentist unless it’s completely necessary. You could think of how awful and scary it will be, or you could dwell on the fact that you’re taking caring for yourself so you won’t have severe problems later. Try relaxation exercises or listen to your favorite song on the way. Chances are, if you are more relaxed, it won’t be as uncomfortable or take much time. Consider treating yourself when you come home. You are acknowledging this is not something you like to do, but you are trying to have positive attitude.
After you reflect on your attitude for the day, think about your schedule. Write down a typical day from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. How much of your time is job related or involves helping others? How much is for taking care of yourself, spending time with Jesus, and with your family? Is there a balance in your life?
Many of us get overloaded with work and feel it’s necessary to support our family. Sometimes it is necessary to work overtime, but if this is a habit, it might deserve consideration. The best way for us to take care of our family is to spend time with them. There must be a balance between work and family.
How much time do you spend with Jesus? You may wonder how you can possibly fit time in to pray or even find a peaceful place when your house is a zoo! I think we have an image of praying in a quiet room by ourselves with no distractions. I love this form of prayer. But by no means is it the only kind of prayer. Have you ever looked at a newborn baby and felt its awesome new life? That is prayer. It is also prayer when we think of how we could help someone. When we forgive someone who has hurt us'”that’s also prayer. In the back of this book, I will have some prayers that might help in connecting with the holy light of Jesus within you. It’s good to have a special time each day for focusing on the wonderful light within and around you. You will be amazed how you’re able to cope with situations you never thought you could handle.
To summarize, we looked at starting the day with a positive attitude and trying to make task more enjoyable or even fun. We focused on looking at our schedule each day to see if we have a balance in caring for ourselves and others. After all, Jesus said to love God with your whole heart and mind and your neighbor as yourself. The last thing we focused on was prayer and how it could be very spontaneous or structured. I will have prayers at the end of the book which might be helpful.
Schedule a time in your day that is for you and Jesus. You can begin with as little as five minutes. You can spend this time any way you choose. You can talk to Jesus, meditate with Him, or use any of the prayers I have at the end of the book. For many people, it helps to keep a journal of any thoughts, feeling or insights you have during this period. Don’t be surprised if there are times when you don’t even feel Jesus with you and you feel like you didn’t experience anything when you tried to connect with Jesus. Jesus may seem distant, and it can be very difficult. This is sometimes called the “dark night of the soul.” It can mean a time of growing in faith. Jesus may be preparing a new way for you to live your faith or experience His presence. It is important to keep praying during this time'”you never know when you may have a profound experience. Usually when you least expect it.
Prayer: Dance to the Light of Jesus
Shine the light of Jesus
Let it penetrate your soul
Let the music of the light
sing it’s melody of joy
Let the hope and courage
spring forth from your being
Let the dance begin
when they see you come
Let the dance touch others
so they can join in
the dance of the light of Jesus