I recently spent a week with my best friend, Diana, and learned a few things from her son, Joel. He just turned four, and is a bundle of energy, enthusiasm, and joy. Every morning Joel gets up, runs to his mother's room, shakes her awake, and says, "Wake up, Mommy! It's a beautiful day. I need my breakfast."
Diana, who would rather sleep in, is forced to wake up to the enthusiasm of her son. Unlike her, he just can't wait to get on with his day.
As we drove around with Joel, he'd roll down the car window and repeat to any passerby who cared to listen (and even to those who didn't)—all in one breath: "Hi! My family and I go to church on Sunday. I have Bonhomme Preschool on Monday, Spanish on Tuesday, gymnastics on Wednesday. I play with Mommy on Thursday, and I go to KinderCare on Friday!"
I loved hearing Joel ring off his week's activities, and I loved his enthusiasm; his bubbly self lifted my spirits.
It's great to have so much going on, but greater still to enjoy it. Now that I'm older, my days are often crammed full—maybe yours are too. But how much of our days do we really enjoy? How often do we wake up in the morning and say, "It's Tuesday—yeah! Hallelujah! Let's go!"
Life gets very busy. Sometimes we don't notice it's a beautiful day, and we have no time to talk about it because we're in a rush to get to work. Janice, Joel's big sister, has told him he doesn't need to tell everybody his daily calendar, but for Joel, it's part of sharing his joy in living. Maybe if we lived with such enthusiasm, our days would become shorter and more exciting.
Our schedules may not be as fun as Joel's. We have bills to pay and really hard stuff to deal with sometimes—not just gymnastics and Spanish. Our days may be long and difficult, and we may rush from one thing to another or drag our feet to the next item on our agenda.
No matter what our plans are, there is a promise for us—that the Lord is with us and always will be; he will give us strength for each day we face. He's been there since the beginning, is here now, and always will be (Isaiah 46:3-4).
I want to start my day with a leap of enthusiasm like Joel, grateful to be alive and grateful to have things to do. I encourage you to do the same. Tomorrow, when you wake up and think of all you have to face and get done during the day, remember what your loving creator has promised—then jump out of bed to go to your version of Spanish or gymnastics.
What Bible verse or encouragement gets you through each day? I always remember: "I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength!" (Philippians 4:13).
Aryantu Otiti is a Ugandan writer and editor, spending time at Today's Christian Woman to learn more about Christian media and publications. Follow her on Twitter @ARYOT.