Five Steps to a G.R.E.A.T. Day, Part 2:
June 13, 2010
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Wouldn’t you like to have a great day today? Wouldn’t we all like to make every day a great day? If we do, we will be living out the Scripture that we affirm every Sunday morning: This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. That is the Bible’s word to us. It reminds us that every day is a precious, priceless gift of God. Our job is to make the most of each day. We can use the word great, g-r-e-a-t, as an acronym to remember a special prayer formula I’d like to share with you.
What I am suggesting is that when we begin our morning, as we get up each day, we think of this acronym as a prayer formula. G-R-E-A-T. Let's start with a little review: We began last week with the first two letters, “G” and “R”. “G” stands for God. Put God first in your life. You are here in church. You have put God first in your week. You are open to God’s blessings and His word and you are putting God first. That is wonderful.
The other thing we can do is to put God first in your day, by beginning the day with prayer, and remembering the Lord throughout the day. We can also put God first as we begin to share our meal. Even that short word of blessing, puts God first and changes the whole atmosphere of the meal. So our first job is to put God first in what we say and what we do.
The letter “R” stands for remember: Remember your blessings. Can you think of three? I know I can. I am remembering our beautiful celebration of last evening dedicating the Friendship Hall. What a wonderful, wonderful time. I am giving thanks because when I walked into the room it was just filled with people. What a sight! It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. What a tribute to the Lord, the family of God gathered together in friendship and love.
I am also giving thanks this week for great news I heard about someone that I have been praying for. I am thanking God for that. When you start thinking of three blessings, sometimes the list just keeps growing. I have got too much to be thankful for, to worry about anything else. (Pastor Tony turns this phrase into a song and the congregation claps and sings along.) Blessings in abundance - we have got them! We have so much to be thankful for, to worry about anything else. Once you start thinking about all your blessings your whole attitude towards the day changes. “R” means remember your blessings.
I think you're going to enjoy this sermon, because today we will talk about the letter “E”. “E” stands for enjoy! Plan something to enjoy during your day. Consciously plan to do something pleasant. This may be the hardest step in this formula - because we are responsible people, aren’t we? We have things to do, situations to take care of, so much to think about. I carry around a little book filled with tasks that need to be done. Yes, there is a lot to do. But the Bible says, This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. We have a mandate from the Bible to rejoice. You are invited to think about something that you are going to enjoy that day. Plan for it! Let it be part of your day. That is how you can rejoice (enjoy again) the beauty of this day.
How shall we do it? You might think of the acronym A-R-T. Enjoy your accomplishments, enjoy your relationships, and enjoy your talents.
For accomplishments, change your “have to” to “want to”. Enjoy the idea of getting something done. For example, if you desk is in a state of “challenged orderliness”. Instead of stressing and saying, “I have to clean my desk; I have to get rid of the clutter.” Why not say, “I am going to enjoy a clear desk today. I am going to make it happen. I am envisioning my desk clear and orderly and I am going to enjoy that feeling.” Change your “have to” to “want to”, change your “must” to a “joy.” Enjoy your accomplishments.
“R” means enjoy your relationships with the people you see every day! They are wonderful, they are beautiful; they are fascinating, they are interesting. They have a story to tell and things to teach us. Enjoy your relationships today, plan for it.
Enjoy your talents. What brings you satisfaction? Do you like to walk, to exercise? Do you like to write? Do you like to draw? Do you like to play music? For all of these things we have to argue with the inner voice that tells us, “you have responsibilities, you have things to do.” You have to stand up to the inner voice and say, the Bible tells me to rejoice and be glad in it. You need to enjoy an hour of whatever it is that gives you pleasure, whether it is music, drawing, writing, or just being still or being in prayer. What is your talent? What is your joy? Choose to add that to your day. Plan on something to enjoy.
In closing, my dear Friends, please do this. We are up to the letter “E” now. When you end your prayer, end it this way. This is going to be a great day, thank you God! You are going to be declaring it, setting in motion the wheels of energy that are going to let the spirit of God make this day a full and complete great one for you. You will be on the path to the abundant kind of living that God has in store for you.
God loves you; I do too. Have a wonderful week. Plan on something to enjoy! Amen.
© 2010 Anthony J. Godlefski