Time To Join the Choir

I've been downright cranky this week.  And if you ask me why, I could give you a whole list of reasons that looks something like this: (1) I'm cold, and I don't like to be cold. (2) Because it's cold, I feel confined to my living room which is the only warm room in the house, which means the rest of the house (and housework) is being ignored. (3) I've been trying to get over this nasty flu mess for nearly two weeks.  Just when I think I've about got it licked, it comes back with a vengeance. (4) Poor Jason caught my cold and has been miserable right along with me. (5) Jason has had very little work this week which only adds to the chaos in throwing off my regular daily routine. (6) I had hoped to feel better this week and get my newest book off to the publisher.  Instead, I haven't looked at the manuscript one time this week.  Not once!

Poor, pitiful me, right?  Do you feel sorry for me yet?  Well, please don't.  I don't need your pity and quite frankly, I don't need my own either.  That's probably one more thing that's adding to my crankiness--I'm cranky about being so cranky.  I don't want a few little bumps in the road to completely spoil the journey.  What's my problem?  There is no reason for me to be so out of sorts, and I was reminded of that in the quiet hours of the morning.

As I sat cuddled in my blanket in front of the wood stove this morning, I sipped on a delicious cup of hot tea while reading my daily devotions.  Suddenly, the peaceful quiet of the morning was shattered by bird song.  On such a cold, bitter morning, you would expect the song to be mournful or full of melancholy.  After all, that poor little bird had to be freezing and probably hungry.  This isn't exactly prime worm weather, you know.  Yet, despite these things, the cheerful little bird perched in the sunlight and sang the most beautiful of melodies.  It was sweet and uplifting.  The bird's strong, clear voice rang through my living room as if the bird had been perched on my mantle or coffee table.  The music was unmistakable, and God's lesson to me was clear.

The still, small voice wasn't as loud as the bird song.  In fact, it wasn't audible at all, but it hit my heart with incredible force.  "Well, look at that, Dana.  This poor little bird is out in the cold, tired and hungry, yet he can still find it within himself to sing a song of gladness.  The bird knows that I'll take care of him.  I always have, so he trusts in that.  And in that peace, he is able to greet the dawn with a melody of praise.  What about you, Dana?  Do you have any praise for Me today, or are you going to continue to sit there counting your grumbles and categorizing your fears?  I love you, child, and you know that, so please don't take this the wrong way, but I much prefer the bird's song of praise than the sound of your constant complaints.  How about let's work on that?"

Outdone by a bird!  Ouch, that hurts.  But doesn't God's Word say that if we don't praise Him, the rocks will?  Evidently, the birds are part of that choir too.  And you know what?  That's completely unacceptable to me.  I don't want to be outdone by a bird or a rock.  I have so much more to praise God for than either of these do.  So, why is it the bird can rise and say, "This is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it" and I can't?  Simple.  The bird chose to.  I didn't.  I chose to complain.  I chose to see problems instead of the Solution.  I chose to focus on my fears instead of my faith.  And I lost my song in the process.  No good!

As I began typing out this post, one thought kept running through my mind.  I have many reasons to be cranky, but that does not mean that I have the right to be cranky.  There is a difference.  Besides, what good does it do me to be cranky?  It only makes those around me cranky, and that makes me even more cranky.  You see?  It only leads to more problems.  Praise, on the other hand, leads to an entirely new attitude and outlook and can vanquish all fears and grumbles.  That definitely sounds like the better option, don't you think? 

So, what do you say?  Are you ready to join me for choir practice?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? - Matthew 6:26