May 6, 2013

3 Steps to a Better Tomorrow

 

Had a rough day lately? Or maybe every day is just the same, but a little duller each time.

Your cubicle seems to get smaller and feel like it’s closing in on you. The drive to the office or school feels more dreadful at every stoplight. Nothing seems to go right. You spill coffee on your pants as soon as you got to work. Throughout the day you just feel like curling up on the couch and nodding off.

Hey, it happens. We’ve all been there. But it doesn’t have to stick. Today’s bad day doesn’t have to continue tomorrow.

3 steps to a better tomorrow

I want to share with you three steps to make sure tomorrow is better than today.

Step 1: Be quiet

If you’re like me, when you’re having a bad day it seems like every sound and sight is multiplied a hundred times. Everything annoys you. That’s a cue to go off and be alone for a little bit. This world’s a busy place, and it’s more and more distracting by design. You may not be an introvert, but I bet you still need some peace and quiet nonetheless.

God tells us simply,

Be still, and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10)

You might think this just means to slow down, and it does, to a degree. But the original meaning is much deeper. The term “be still” meant something more like “to be weak, let go, or to release.”

Wake up early, go on a walk at lunch, find a hiking trail, or turn off the TV. Just be quiet. Let go of whatever it is you’re holding on to. Release your worries.

God might be trying to tell you something through those feelings you’re having, but you’re not giving him a chance to be heard. You’ll find most of life’s answers when you’re quiet enough to hear them.

Step 2: Ask for help

After you’ve found some time to be quiet and you’ve given God a chance to say something, it’s time to ask him to help. Get on your knees and ask God to take those feelings of sorrow and numbness. Ask him to replace them with joy and peace.

If you’re in a rut, my guess is you haven’t been praying a whole lot. Corrie ten Boom said,

“It could be that Satan is pushing you into too much work so that you cannot take time to pray.”

Sound familiar? Take the time. Bow your head. Beg for help. When you come to God in your weakness you’ll find him in his strength.

Read a psalm out loud if you don’t know what to pray. David has plenty of razor sharp honesty for you to draw from. Like this:

O Lord, I have so many enemies…

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;

you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

I cried out to the Lord,

and he answered me from his holy mountain. (Psalm 3:1, 3-4)

Step 3: Make it about someone else

Anytime you’re feeling down, it’s always helpful to make it about someone else. I don’t mean project your feelings onto someone else. I mean do something for someone else.

You were created to exist in community with other people, and you are intended to love them by doing things for them. Sorry if you don’t like that. You can run from it as long as you want, but you’ll never find a different key to happiness like this one.

If you’re feeling like a train just hit you, think of the people in your life who might be feeling the same. Order a cheap pizza and send it to their house to surprise them. Drop by and say hello. Pick up some flowers for your spouse.

Just do something for someone other than yourself. Selfishness will sap the life from you like nothing else can. Do something for someone and push back those feelings.

Here’s to a better tomorrow

You can shrug these things off if you want. Maybe tomorrow will even be a little better if you do. But I promise it won’t last long. A life can’t go on finding fulfillment without the three ingredients above. That’s just the way it is.

It’s not my design. I’m just telling you what I’ve found to be true. And I think if you’re honest, you know they hold the key to a better tomorrow too.

So here’s to quiet time... to giving up and reaching up... to serving someone else’s needs.

And to a better tomorrow.

Are you in a rough patch? How do these three things make you feel in your life when you practice them? Leave a comment and let’s talk.

Photo courtesy: Vince Alongi (Creative Commons)

Originally Published: May 6, 2013
Category: Christian Living
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