Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

“This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

We all know that Bible verse even if we don’t know that it is from The Book of Psalms. There even is a children’s song which uses the verse as a refrain.  But do we follow its advice?  Do we rejoice in every day that God has given us?

I am embarrassed to say that I don’t always do that. I easily can spend time during my day mulling over the past or fretting about the future.  But that isn’t how we are called to live.  We are called to appreciate today – by itself.

There is wisdom in that approach. If we can neither change the past nor control the future, then it is pointless to give a lot of mental energy to either.  The only thing that we can do is to make today count.

How do we make each day count? One way is to work hard.  Our self-esteem is boosted when we work.  It doesn’t matter what the work is, frankly.  Whether you are a waitress, a teacher, a day laborer, or the President of the United States, having worked hard at something (anything!) feels good.  God made us to accomplish things.

We also make our day count when we make someone else’s life easier. Part of being a decent human being is being helpful.  That means that we don’t sit on the couch when other people are cleaning up the kitchen or are working in the yard.  That means that if you see an elderly person struggling to carry their groceries, you help them.  It is about being on constant alert for how you can help others.  Ironically being helpful is a trait that we don’t applaud nearly enough.  Yet it is one of the most important character traits that one can have.

Making this day count also means not allowing the behavior of others to turn a good day into a bad day. Sadly, there are some people who think that their bad mood should be everyone else’s problem.  We all know people like that.  You can’t avoid them.  They seek attention with confrontational or immature behavior.  You have to decide as soon as you get up in the morning that you aren’t going to give other people the power to ruin your day.  Sometimes, you have to be willing to ignore people in order to keep your peace.  It is a hard thing to do.  However, we are not obliged to pander to difficult people.  Our obligation is to protect the day that God has blessed us with.

Most importantly, making this day count involves spending time with God. That is the easiest thing to forget, but it is the most important thing to do.  We all do this differently.  Some of us pray.  Others are in constant conversation with God throughout the day.  Then there are those of us who read and meditate in order to commune with God.  There is no right approach.  Any one of them will do.

At times, we all can take our days on this earth for granted. We can look at the day ahead just as something to get through rather than something to be glad about.  But remember, every day is a gift from God.  Every day we have to spend with those we love is truly a blessing.  So make sure that you show God your appreciation by making each day count.

Look to this day,
The very life of life,
In its brief course lies all,
The realities and verities of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived,
Makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow
A vision of hope.
Look well, therefore,
To this day.

Sanskrit Proverb

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