Emotions are fickle. Opinions are fickle. Perspective is fickle. What is fickle? The dictionary calls it “unstable in affection,” and it applies to that nature within us that changes capriciously according to weather, hormones, a look, or even whether we think someone likes us or not. Once fickleness colors our perspective, much like glasses filtering out sunlight, our choices of attitude become more and more limited. We forget we even have a choice. Soon we don’t care. We have made a choice without even knowing it. And life becomes a roller coaster downhill most of the way. We may complain about our lack of joy. We become more and more negative. Jokes help but when we have become negative enough, we are even antagonistic at most humor. Sometimes the ridiculous catches us unaware, and we laugh in spite of ourselves, but quickly we pull the “comforting” and familiar shroud of darkness around us once again. Grouchy. Irritable.
Best case scenario, we would think, is to passively catch the roller coaster on the upward swing. But the psalmist, who talks about lonely birds on the housetop and wasted bones, proclaims yet WILL I rejoice [praise him]. Paul shouts, Rejoice! And AGAIN I say, Rejoice! This is the day that the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. No conditions. He made it, I will — my will wills — my perspective bows — my mouth chooses — my emotions choose — TO REJOICE! When that choice is made, colored glasses come off. Sunlight looks brighter. Flowers are more brilliant. Jokes are funnier. People are more interesting. They like us better when we smile. But most of all, we tap into His joy, and thus His strength, His Presence, His grace, and His love. And all because we made one little choice– to Rejoice!!!
Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Ps 51:8-12 NKJV
(Excerpt from the book, Stress Relief, by Lora Allison)