Five Steps to a G.R.E.A.T. Day, Part 3:
June 20, 2010
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
As the deer
longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”
4 My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and 6 my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
These weeks we have been studying the idea of how to make this day, a great day.
We all want to make each day of our lives as great as it can be. The scripture tells us this: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Every day that we live is a priceless, precious gift from God, and it is ours to make the most of. I am suggesting that we take the word, "great," the letters G-R-E-A-T, and use it as a prayer formula. We can use this as a way of focusing our minds, to make this day as great as it can possibly be.
When everything is going well and you are feeling well, that’s one thing and it is easy to feel good about the day. However, when you are having a tough day, a difficult day, it is important to have a framework for dealing with the difficulty. How can you tell when it is going to be a tough day?
It may be a tough day if:
· You see a Sixty Minutes News Team waiting outside your office
· You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold
· Your twin sister forgets your birthday
· You put both contact lenses in the same eye (congregation laughs as Pastor Tony admits to having done this)
Your car horn gets stuck, blaring loudly, as you follow a gang of
Hell’s Angels down the highway
(much more laughter from the congregation)
You never know, you need strength to deal with these tough times. We have been looking at this formula, the acronym G-R-E-A-T. To review--G stands for God. Put God first. It is important to put God first as you start your day and also as you go through the day. Sometimes you are in a tough situation and you have to say to yourself, “What would Jesus do? How would Jesus handle this situation?” Put God first as you go through your day.
“R” stands for Remember. Remember your blessings, at least three blessings in the morning. Keep giving thanks for the ways that God is blessing you throughout the day.
“E” stands for enjoy. Plan on something to enjoy that day, plan on something that you can look forward to. Give yourself permission to draw a picture, practice your instrument, sing a song or read a book. Plan on something to enjoy.
Today is “A” day. The letter “A” stands for Attitude. How is your attitude? Is it a great attitude or is it a not so good attitude? The first thing we have to talk about when we speak about attitude is this: do your circumstances dictate your attitude or does your attitude command your circumstances?
You have to make that decision. Picture a thermostat that controls the temperature in your home. Next, picture the thermometer outside your window. Are you a thermostat or are you a thermometer? A thermometer reacts to what is around it. A thermostat sets what is around it. Friend, you can be a thermostat! You can change what is around you. You can change your attitude to make your entire circumstance different. Little by little, if you change your attitude, then the entire situation around you will begin to turn around.
Begin your day with the question, “How is my attitude today?” See a little meter in your mind, a meter with a needle. (Pastor Tony waves his pointer finger from left to right) Is that attitude meter pointing to a good attitude or a not so good one? If not good, you will need to change it and bring it up to a good attitude.
There are several thoughts to consider in this. I invite you to begin each day with these thoughts, I am a positive person, I am a person who has potential. I am a powerful person. I am a productive person.
I am a positive person. Is your glass half empty or is it half full? Do you have anything to give thanks for? Decide to be a positive person. Say, “I am going to decide to be positive; I am going to make this day a great one.” This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.
I am a powerful person. You have great power; you have the power of prayer. Even a person that is bedridden in the hospital has the power to make the sunshine of God’s prayer bless other people. You are also a person of power, because you can light up a room. If you go into a room where there are gloomy people, don’t join in the gloom. Let the brightness of your smile lift up the whole atmosphere of the place, and you will see that, little by little, things can change. You have enormous power to change things for the good, by your prayer and by your attitude.
I am a productive person. You can decide that a situation is too overwhelming to do anything about and just throw in the towel. Or you can decide that, "inch by inch, anything's a cinch!" as Dr. Robert H. Schueller would say. You can decide that step by step, one day at a time, you can make a difference. You can look at the project that seemed so overwhelming and say, “I am going to take it one step at a time, put one foot in front of the other, take it five minutes at a time and I will be a productive person today.”
I am a positive, powerful, productive person. Attitude is the key.
On the walls of a cellar in Colon, Germany there were words scratched by a Jew who was hiding from Nazi persecution. He wrote:
I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even when I do not feel it.
I believe in God, even when there is silence.
Attitude makes all the difference.
In closing, my friends, please remember that if you say yes to a positive attitude, you will be walking in the footsteps of the greatest person who has ever lived. Jesus Christ, on his way to the cross, in His last few words to His Disciples, said this: In this world you have tribulation, but be of good cheer. For I have overcome the world. That is the Saviour we follow, that is the One that we look up to. He is the One in whom footsteps we walk, when we keep our attitude positive.
God loves you; I do, too. Have a wonderful week.
© 2010 Anthony J. Godlefski