Some people wake up happy. No reason, just happy. For y-e-a-r-s those saccharin souls annoyed me. Or at least when I was young and unaccustomed and uneducated in accurately naming my emotions, but I would learn differently as an adult. Turns out that the more accurate word for my annoyance was and is envy.
I thought my response was all about the Sappy Saints who were planning Pansy Parades and Daffodil Dances by dawn. But oh, no, it’s about Moody Mama-SadSack me who would drag her wagon through the morning like it was a punishment, instead of a privilege. May I say, this kind of envy-exposure doesn’t highlight the cute parts of me, like my wiggle when I waddle, but the small-minded part of me. Boo! It was about my underdeveloped gratitude and therefore my tiny pinched heart.
My husband wakes up singing. Truly, he does. And it’s not normal songs like Moon River, oh, no, it’s boisterous tunes like, “When the moon hits your eye like a big piece of pie that’s amore.” And he feels led to belt it out with all the zeal he can muster. Honestly, I’m not ready to be serenaded at sunrise, zeal or no zeal. Even noon would have been a stretch for me.
Now, get this, I actually look forward to making my way through our dimly lit home to the screened porch to watch the sun come up and greet the new day. Hallelujah! I love to watch the light sweep darkness into the shadows as it takes precedence. It reminds me of how God works in my own life to reveal through His light bearing Word, His brilliant Holy Spirit, and His illuminating people, my inconsistencies, my darkness, like envy.
The sin of envy stunts growth, breeds ill-will, and feeds a critical spirit. Trust me, I know. The good thing about sin, yes, I said good, is we can be both forgiven and delivered from it. Forgiveness, only Christ can give us. And confession (ownership of our behavior) is our first step toward deliverance, which is to leave old habits and begin a new way, a growing up process. Sometimes deliverance is immediate, but I have found in my life it usually involves time and sweaty effort.
Every time we step away from detrimental behavior, it opens up space inside our minds and hearts. It’s important that we fill those spaces with God’s counsel and character. An empty head or heart invites unwanted guests if we are not expedient and specific who is welcome. For instance, we don’t want to kick envy to the curb only to have gluttony replace him. So make a guest list, be specific, and pray God’s counsel. Invite new shipments of joy, integrity, hope’s strength, etc.
And then let’s ask the Lord to lead and guide us in our recovery. Christ allows us to be involved in our change of behavior. We can’t change our heart, that’s God’s specialty, but we can by acts of our will (that God gave us) make different choices.
I began my search for morning’s beauty first through artists work who had captured its stand-alone, stunning appearance on our landscape. Both photographers and painters know the best light is early light (dawn) and last light (sunset) for memorable captures. Then I practiced saying words out loud, kind words, helpful words, in warm tones to those around me. Because I had bought into the belief that I couldn’t talk early, and I certainly wasn’t able to do niceties until after 10:00 a.m. So imagine my surprise and my families when I gradually worked my way into authentic early day cheer.
We can talk ourselves into staying stuck.
“Oh, this trait runs in my family.”
“It’s just the way I am.”
“I tried once and it didn’t work.”
To that I say…let’s start a new legacy, let’s change ( we know people who have), let’s try again, and again, and again.
Gratitude is a deterrent to envy. Make lists of how blessed you are. Incorporate thankfulness in conversations to help break habitual negativity.
Applaud daily God’s design of how he made you. It protects mind and heart.
Don’t dissolve in your commitment to change just because its hard work, its suppose to be, sweat equity builds strong character. Rejoice. And again I say rejoice!
All this to say, I love morning! I adore “..when the dew is still on the roses and the voice I hear falling on my ear the Son of God discloses…”
See I even found a morning song, no pie in the eye, but a deep, happy sigh.
What is the first line of your morning song?
Is it time to add a new song to your sunrise repertoire?
What or who is on your current gratitude list?
Who is on your mental guest list?
Who is your favorite landscape artist?