I know this blog may smack of idealism or fanatical fantasy to some, but it has been a burden on my heart to post this… I have NEVER had a bad day. Bad moments, yes. Bad circumstances, yes. Bad day, NO!
Having lived through immense abuse and deprivation throughout my first thirteen years of life, many would assume that I have had many a bad day. (For more about my childhood and life, keep your eyes peeled for my autobiography of my first 20 years, hopefully to be published within the next year!) However, there is a gift from God of wisdom and perspective that I was given at a VERY young age, that I wish also to share with each of you… A very famous quote (though I am not certain whose quote it is) says, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it.” This quote is one of my favorite, for it holds the very tremendous wisdom and perspective that God gave me in my earliest years. While the abuse I suffered, neglect and deprivation that were intentionally dished out to me, and pain and loneliness that I have truly felt are all valid and traumatic experiences of my life, I, by the grace of God, have somehow understood that I get to choose how those things affect/ed me.
Many of us choose to let a screaming baby, argument with a loved one, news of illness or death, mistreatment by boss/friend/or stranger, stubbed toe or jammed finger, crazy driver on the road, or simply unforeseen interruptions to our neatly organized path of life determine the mood and weight of an entire day. This past year I had a failed engagement, due to the fiance cheating on me and returning to her previous boyfriend. Some would give me excuse for having a bad day or two. While I am now talking in hindsight, it still is true that I never despaired of any day during that turmoil, nor did I ever have a bad day. Were there painful days? Yes. Does that make it a bad day? No. Did the abusive childhood I lived through have some very severe and traumatic experiences? Yes. Were there heavy and dark times? Yes. Does that make it a bad day? No.
The Word of the Lord challenges us to; “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) I have found it very notable often that these three verses use superlatives… always, continually, in all circumstances. It is not just when things are going well, when we recognize favor, blessing, and smooth and easy paths that we are called to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. No… It is ALWAYS, CONTINUALLY, IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. It is to have a developed attitude of gratitude and appreciation for the gift of life itself, no matter what challenges, struggles, hardships, disappointments, rejections, and failures we may encounter. This is not an easy discipline to instill in our lives, but it must be an intentional one! Somehow God has instilled in my heart, mind, and soul a deep gratitude for life and the beauty it holds daily, even when things are hard and circumstances may seem impossible.
This perspective, this discipline is one that Abogar International Ministries hopes to see orphaned children, street children, and youth at risk in Latin America be able to catch on to. Their circumstances are more grave than most of us can fathom or imagine. Yet they too can have gratitude for the gift of life God has granted. We want to see their life circumstances changed, obviously, but even moreso we are hopeful to impact minds, hearts, and souls of these children to see, accept, and appreciate the gifts of God in life daily… that not only their immediate situations may see change, but that there will also be eternal change in their hearts, minds, and souls for the glory of God.
How about you? Have you had a bad day? Have you allowed the heavy dark weight of this world to snuff out the appreciation of light, love, and life that God has so beautifully granted us? I challenge you today to make a decision. Never again will I allow my life circumstances to dictate or ruin a full day. I choose to see beauty around me and develop an attitude of gratitude and appreciation, even amidst all the turmoil, sin, challenges, and pain that I may encounter! Be joyful always! Have a discipline of praying always! Give thanks in ALL circumstances, and know that we live a better and more beautiful life when we choose this path! Blessings!