How to Have a Great Day
July 1, 2007
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, good morning. These two weeks, last week and this week, we are thinking about the idea of how to have a great day. Iíd like to invite you to say our affirmation with me that we started last week. Are you ready?
I am alive, awake, alert, energetic, and enthusiastic about life!
Do you believe it? Say it again. I am alive, awake, alert, energetic, and enthusiastic about life! Jesus said, ďI am come that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.Ē We want to accept that great gift that Jesus has for us.
The reason Iím preaching this series is because I believe that a lot of folks struggle with the pressures of depression, with the pressures of external problems, with the pressures of questionable self-esteem, and days can go by and just be lost because of all those pressures that we face. Thatís not what God wants for us. God wants our days to be great. This is the day which the Lord has made; we want to rejoice and be glad in it.
So, letís take a look at a way of beginning our day to make it a great day. First, a little recap of last week. The way to have a great day is to prepare the night before and to allow yourself to be cradled in the everlasting arms, to allow yourself to be placed in the arms of God and pray for a restful nightís sleep, a gentle sleep, a sleep free from fear and uncluttered by negative thoughts, and a rising that is gracious and open to the abundance that God has for us. Thatís where it begins, the night before.
A wonderful way to begin your day is with prayer, and then with exercise, and then with your Bible reading. Now, if we can get those in at the beginning of the day, weíre guaranteed to have a great day. But what I want to talk with you about is the structure of your prayer as you wake. So many times as we awaken, we can be flooded with negative thoughts and pressure, but thatís not what we want. We want to set our thoughts free for Godís blessing through the day.
So letís take a look at this acronym that we can use for our morning prayer. G-R-E-A-T-T-T. The first step, G, stands for Gratitude. I am grateful! This is a treasure chest; this is a really fun step. This is the time when you think about all the things youíre grateful for. This is the time to crowd out all the negative thoughts with thoughts of gratitude. I tell you what, every time I wake up, Iím grateful just to be alive. Iím grateful to be breathing. Iím grateful to be able to move my arms and legs and get out of bed in the morning. Itís profound. Letís be grateful for the people who love us. Letís be grateful for the people who encourage us. Letís be grateful for this brand new day. Name them, and youíll find yourself becoming better already.
R stands for Ready. I am ready for a good day. Many times, at the start of a day, we say, ďOh, this could go wrong. That could be a problem. Iím going to watch out for this.Ē How about we be ready for a blessing today? Say, ďI am ready for Godís good blessing today. I am ready to have it happen. Iím ready for God to bless me today. Iím going to meet people who are going to be encouraging and helpful. Iím ready for a good day.Ē
The third step is E. E stands for enthusiasm. What am I enthusiastic about? Personally, I am enthusiastic about this church. I love this church. This is a wonderful, blessed congregation in the Lord, and next week I want to tell you about some hopes and dreams I have for it. I am enthusiastic for the future of this church. I am enthusiastic about music. I look forward in the morning to practicing a bit on the piano each day. What are you enthusiastic about? Have you thought about it? Do you love to read? Do you love to cook? Do you love to help people? What is it that youíre enthusiastic about? Take a few minutes to think about that at the beginning of your day.
And A Ė A stands for Attitude. How are we doing in the attitude department? You know, if attitude is a meter, letís move it from the low zone, the idea that people are going to treat me badly today, to the high zone, where we expect that the people weíre going to meet today are people of great potential, good people. Plan to go into your relationships today with a positive attitude. If we make that decision at the beginning of the day, we will have a better day.
And there are three Ts at the end of our acronym. T-T-T. What does the first T stand for? T stands for Treat. Treat someone to a blessing today. Say to yourself, who am I going to treat to a blessing today? Pick out someone in your world that youíre going to treat to a blessing today. I would suggest you begin to treat them to a blessing by praying for them. Hold that person in the light of Christ and say, ďDear Lord, whatever it is that this person needs most, may he be surrounded by your light, healed and comforted and uplifted.Ē Treat that person to the blessing of dignity. Say, ďThis is a good person. This is a person of brightness, a person of worth. Iím going to value him in a special way today.Ē And it may turn out that during the course of the day that youíll have a chance to be with that person or speak with that person. If you do, treat him to something Ė a good word or some encouragement. Let your beginning thoughts of the day include treating someone to a blessing.
The second T is treat yourself. This may be the hardest one of all, because we can find it in our hearts to help other people, but somehow when it comes to accepting Godís blessing of ourselves, thatís harder to do. Treat yourself to a blessing. I tell you this Ė every person sitting here or reading this is unique. Every person is a unique blessing of God. Every person is a unique expression of His creativity. There is nobody like you. There is no one that can do the good that you can do. Treat yourself to that knowledge, wonít you?
Friend, if you were to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to you, encouraging you as the divine parent would, what would the Lord say? What compliment would the Lord give you? What attribute of your life would He lift up and encourage? Are you a person who is particularly good with people? Are you a person who has hospitality? Are you a person involved in a task that blesses the world? Iíll bet you are. Listen for it. Allow God to bless you. Treat yourself to a blessing.
And finally, that last T Ė Treat God to a blessing. God wants to hear from you. God has set things up so that He feels most complete when He hears from you. Treat Him to a blessing. The scripture says this: ďBless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.Ē God does so much to bless you and me. Letís send a blessing His way as we close our morning prayer. For instance, if you happen to be up at sunrise and youíre watching the sunrise, it is the most incredible act of creativity and artistry. Tell God so! Let God know how much you appreciate it. I remember once, when I was watching a sunrise many years ago, I was thinking how magnificent a sight it was. And there came as if a voice to me, saying, ďHow do you like it?Ē It was an amazing moment, and I said, ďLord in heaven, I like it just fine.Ē Bless the Lord, and forget not all His benefits. He created that sunrise just for you.
Now, you may say ďPastor, how is that so? Everybody can see the sunrise.Ē Well, yes, but nobody can see it the way you can. Nobody can see it through your eyes. Nobody can stand in the very spot that you stand in as you appreciate it. God created that view of the sunrise just for you. Let your heart overflow with gratitude and bless Him. Treat God to a blessing.
So, my friend, as you begin your day, let your morning prayer have a structure something like this, wonít you?
I am Grateful.
I am Ready for a wonderful day.
I am Enthusiastic.
My Attitude is good.
And Iím going to Treat someone to a blessing.
Iím going to Treat myself to a blessing today.
And Iím going to Treat God to a blessing.
And a good day will come your way. God bless every one of you. God loves you. I do, too. Have a great day, and a blessed week. Amen.
© 2007 Anthony J. Godlefski