Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's A Great Day To Be Alive, I Know The Sun's Still Shining When I Close My Eyes

Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

     This was definitely the tune running through my head almost 2 weeks ago. A lot of pent up anger from dealing with a particularly difficult horse at work to handling some touchy relationships had me completely on the edge of blowing my top or falling apart in tears.It felt like the people close to me had pushed me away, and I was all alone to just "buck up" and deal with things. Just stuff my emotions like I am such a professional at, tell the world to go to hell and do my own thing, like I tend to when I get depressed and angry. I didn't want to talk to anybody about it anymore, was afraid to make myself vulnerable to anyone, and was letting my fear, and therefore not my faith, rule my actions. If you ask anyone that spends any amount of time with me I was not the most pleasant person to be around. Nights were spent crying myself to sleep, days were spent in a "throw myself into work to bury the hurt" haze. The scary part was that, at first, I didn't care. I was sick of the crap, sick of my emotions being played on, sick of feeling manipulated, sick of feeling like any of my efforts were hopeless. I couldn't do anything to fix the relationship, I felt like I was just going in reverse with the horse I was working... just utterly useless.
    That Wednesday night I went to Bible study and we did a review of the entire book of James, which started to get me thinking, but thinking isn't always good for me. I get home, go to my room, want to scream but can't, and end up crying myself to sleep.
    Thursday, my boss and the crew leave for a show in southern Utah. I just want the day to end, to go home and hide from the world, but I stick to my task. Friday doesn't vary much from Thursday until Friday night. Friday night was special because we were having a worship night at our church. The one hour service started with a couple of more upbeat style worship songs, but in the middle it slowed to some very sincere hymns and songs that began to crack, and finally crush my self-focused strong will. As I cried and sang with the joined voices of over 600 people it brought back memories of being an apprentice, being surrounded by friends and family that loved me, and worshiping together. My heart changed from focusing on me, to focusing on the One who is all powerful, the One who loves me no matter what, and the One who was simply waiting for me to say "ok, I can't do this, I need your help."
   As this week progressed the first 8 verses of James chapter 1 were floating through my head... and in New King James version from memorizing it as an apprentice. James 1:1-8 - James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My bretheren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye make be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything from the Lord.
   So, the trying of my faith worketh patience... I am not good at being patient, which is what a lot of the trials the week before had to deal with. Then patience can have her perfect work so that I can be complete... ok, taking a step back and not getting frustrated with that mare proved productive as she rode much better this past week, learning to be patient in this relationship is going to be a much longer process. Anyway, beyond that, the asking for wisdom was what I was needing to do the most, but my pride had been getting in the way. Once my pride got put in its place my journal pages and my heart started to fill with wisdom that only my Heavenly Father could provide from the pages of my Bible and the words of others. Here are some of them:

Proverbs 4:11-12 - I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; if you run you will not stumble.

I cross referenced this to Isaiah 40:31 - Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Proverbs 4:25-27 - Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.

So, to put it all together I'm going to sum up what I've been challenged with in the past 2 weeks in one simple phrase that my first year adviser told me "Don't fear. Don't control.". As long as I keep that wisdom at the forefront of my mind then it is a "great day to be alive".

And it's a great day to be alive,
I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes,
There's some hard times in the neighborhood,
But why can't every day be just this good?

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