A week or so ago I, chagrined, realized that was about all I had in me in a day--just 3 hours of joy. I had started the day on a good note. Time with Father before His throne had me in the right perspective. I was joyful and thankful--about life and about and with those around me. But then something happened. I do not remember now what it was, but I reacted to something, or some event led to discouragement and ending the day on a low note.
It happened again yesterday. The first half of the day went very well, and most of the afternoon too, but there were a couple of interactions that did NOT go well. Twice I quickly became impatient with another person. Once I was impatient because they did not understand what I was trying to communicate. Another time because they did not seem to have the 'heart' for others that I thought they should have by now. I did not the heart, nor the expression of the heart into some ideas and actions that could help us in our work.
Is that it? Is that all I can manage in a day? Just 3 hours of joy?
It is not always that bad. Sometimes it is not even that good.
The upside of this process is that it is starting to really sink in for me--what is really needed, what is really most important is becoming very clear. Getting a lot done by the end of the day feels good. Planning and organizing, seeing some things accomplished, progress on projects, etc--all of this feels good, and is nice. However, if in there there is a conflict, an angry reaction, or just a premature reaction that left someone else crushed rather than built up...at the end of the day there will be regret, much sorrow, less energy. It is simply not worth it.
It is becoming more and more of a priority for me to change. I must grow in these areas. I must develop patience. I must live out grace and peace and love all day every day. These must be formed in me, and the best way I have found to date for these to start happening is so closely related to morning time spent with the LORD--there in the stillness, making my heart be still before Him, bringing before Him the possibilities of the day, listening as He reminds me of the dangers, asking for His guard, being deliberately aware.
And the morning time, is inextricably linked to the night before. Morning will not happen well, if the night before was way past midnight.
Slowly, I think I am learning. Slowly it is sinking in. Slowly change is happening. Lead me, Lord.
(Someday...I just may write a post entitled "Days of Joy" or "Weeks and Weeks of Joy". Yeah!!)