Well, it has been a day. One of those looooong sigh kind of days. I'm not usually one to complain or play the stress card, but the week before a break at school is always tough. On top of that, we have CRCT the week we get back which means this week consists of drill, drill, drill. Other teachers are stressed. Students are antsy. It gets a little messy.
As I reached a climax of stress today, I took a deep breath and started to pray. I felt that peace and realized THIS moment was when my beliefs were really being tested. This was when the "rubber met the road" if you will. I can write blog posts and have conversations all day about the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit, about fighting, and about putting on the full armor of God. But in that moment, I had to choose. I haven't always been able to say I've done so, but in that moment, instead of frustration or anger or fear, I choose peace, joy, and love.
This poem puts this perfectly. I think I need this framed in my kitchen, taped to my steering wheel, and maybe even tattooed to my forehead...
I Choose :: by Max Lucado
It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The
world is still asleep. The day is coming.
In a few moments, the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with
the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for
the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the
pounding of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be
invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now I
must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.
I Choose Love
No occasion justifies hatred;
no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love.
Today I will love God and what God loves.
I Choose Joy
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.
I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…
the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see
people as anything less than human beings,
created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as
anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I Choose Peace
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I Choose Patience
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world.
Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll
invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the
wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment
to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new
assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I Choose Kindness
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone.
I will be kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to
the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I Choose Goodness
I will go without a dollar
before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked
before I will boast. I will confess before I will
accuse. I choose goodness.
I Choose Faithfulness
Today I will keep my promises.
My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates
will not question my word. My wife will not
question my love. And my children will never fear
that their father will not come home.
I Choose Gentleness
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.
I am a spiritual being…
After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.
I refuse to let what will rot rule the
I Choose Self-Control
I will be drunk only by joy.
I will be impassioned only by my faith.
I will be influenced only by God.
I will be taught only by Christ.
I choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To these I commit my day.
If I succeed, I will give thanks.
If I fail, I will seek His grace.
And then, when this day is done,
I will place my head on my pillow
By the power of the Holy Spirt, may we all choose wisely in each moment.