It wasn't that long ago, just 'the other day' as we say here in the South, that I was visiting a rural church for worship. After the call to worship by a well tuned choir, the pastor headed to the pulpit. He rose slowly, with an audible groan, shuffled to the pulpit, arranged a few papers and then without looking up, spoke a droning welcome, "This is the day...that the Lord has made..let us be (hesitation) joyful."
It was almost a scene from Saturday Night Live. I didn't know if I should laugh or moan. Clearly his life moment and his words were - disconnected.
Sometimes we don't feel it. Sometimes we are just not happy, joyous and free. What do we do when our desire to be joyful and our feelings don't jive?
Here's some thoughts on that:
1. It's OK to feel bitchy, sad, discouraged and down right 'unholy.' Emotions aren't evil, just uncomfortable. Give yourself a break. It will mostly likely pass.
2. What I feel doesn't have to determine what I do. Acknowledge how you feel, but don't inflict that on innocent (or guilty, for that matter) bystanders.
3. We can change our attitude. Write a list of things that are good in your life. Recite positive and life affirming statements. If I say, "I will win. Why? I'll tell you why. Because I have faith, courage and enthusiasm" ten times, it will likely change my attitude.
One of my favorite quotes comes from William James, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind."