How Will I Begin this Day?

Coffee_cup2
My weekdays usually begin early.  The first thing I do every morning is head straight for the coffee pot.  Once the coffee pot is going, I sit at our kitchen table with a Bible and journal.  Right now, I am reading through the Gospel of John.  I will generally write a page or two in my journal.  Generally, I will glance at the Waco Tribune Herald and the Dallas Morning News before leaving for work. 

 

Maybe you are about to go to work as well.  Or, perhaps you just arrived and you are checking this blog just before you begin.  A few suggestions.

 

1.  Consider who you as you begin your workday.  Are you a Christ-follower?  Pray that Christ will be seen in you today.  Be conscious of your identity in Christ.  Think about what that identity means practically. 

 

2.  Be conscious of Jesus’ call to "neighbor love."  What does it mean to "love your neighbor as yourself?"  Are you treating people right?  Are people glad to see you come?  Or are they glad to see you go away? 

 

3.  Let it go!  Don’t make a big deal out of things that just don’t matter.  OK, a driver was rude.  OK, someone walked by you and wasn’t friendly.  OK, the lady in the next department didn’t seem to realize the breadth of your work experience.  There are some people who seem to let nothing go and they stay tied up in knots, most of the time.  Learn to travel light!  Not everything is worth getting upset over.

 

4.  Surprise somebody today. 

 

  • Be more forgiving than people expect.
  • Be more gracious than many people might be.
  • Pay attention to people who are often invisible or forgotten.
  • Ofter to help someone and expect nothing in return.  This may be a person at work who could use some assistance.
  • Smile at someone who you think is generally unfriendly. 

 

5.  Use people’s names!  Most us love to hear our own name.  Not long ago, a person in our community spoke to a co-worker regarding a conversation he and I had earlier.  That person said, "He remembered my name!"  I was glad I did.  (Yes, I have also forgotten many names!).  Yet, it also reminded me of how something so simple can mean so much to someone else.

 

A few weeks ago, Charlotte and I were at a basketball game.  We arrived about fifteen minutes before the game started.   As we made our way through the corridor of the coliseum, we passed a concession stand.  There were no customers at this stand.  Four or five workers were behind the counter getting ready for the customers who would eventually come.  As we were passing, I saw a man approach the counter.  Though I did not know him personally, I recognized him as a minister of a large church in this part of our state.  As he approached the counter, he abruptly barked, "Corn Dog!" He said nothing else. 

 

I made a mental note.  "Self–don’t ever do that."  I don’t want to go through my day barking at people when I want something.  However, I think I am less likely to do that when I begin my day with intention.  How do I want to begin this day?

 

This could be a very significant day.  When the day is complete, I may or may not realize just how significant it was. 

 

It could be that part of the day’s significance might center around how God used me because of the way I began this day in the early hours of the morning.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “How Will I Begin this Day?

  1. Great thoughts.
    Since I read this late in the day, I think I’ll follow this advice tomorrow. (My poor family … having to put up with me tonight…)
    🙂

  2. Good thoughts Jim- and thanks. We need to keep that connection growing with the Lord through means of grace like you describe here, I believe. And thus there is a certain connectedness with others as we keep after that connectedness with God. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  3. You begin the day with a cup of coffee.

    Here’s a question out of left field for you:

    Have you tried going without coffee for some considerable period of time – say 3 months? You are probably aware of the addictive nature of caffeine. And the possible ill-health effects it has. I don’t understand how a person can have his attention fully on God with a dose of caffeine rumbling through his brain. What do you think?

  4. Kieren, Regarding your comments about caffine, cokes, coffee, etc. Like food, or most anything else, I believe that as a Christian I am to practice moderation. As long as I am doing that, I have no problem with myself or anyone else drinking a diet coke or cup of coffee. I see no comparison between coffee/diet coke and cocaine.

  5. The following comment seems to have got lost, so here it is again:

    You are trying to avoid the issue. Caffeine is a drug – a fact you cannot deny. Coffee makes hardly any nutritional contribution to the diet (perhaps it has a negative effect, as it may require other dietary inputs to metabolise). Even one cup of coffee per day can be addictive. Caffeine addiction is subtle – the symptons are difficult to detect with moderate intake. You will only notice the addictive effect when you go without caffeine for an extended period of time.

    Cocaine is probably at the other end of the spectrum as far as damage and addiction goes. It is also illegal in most jurisdictions throughout the world. So in behavioural terms, you are correct in that they are hardly comparable.

    However, other comparisons can be made. Both alter the brains neurological state. Both are addictive. Both are grown by desperately poor farmers who are usually exploited. Both substances re-direct our attention away from God through their working on the pleasure centers of the brain.

    A cup of coffee in the morning is just a selfish adictive indulgence unrelated to your spiritual walk with God.

  6. Kieren –
    I am addicted to caffeine.
    I know this because I become sluggish when I don’t have it. I may be in denial, but I don’t see any negative impact physically or spiritually to this drug.
    Who/where are the desperately poor, exploited farmers who are being victimized? This is a new line of thinking for me.

  7. Some obvious qualifications: Not all coffee growers are exploited – but it happens too often. Not all coffee drinkers are medical basket cases – caffeine addiction is an insidiously attractive habit.

    This means you can give up your caffiene addiction gradually and ethically.

    For a reference on coffee grower exploitation: http://www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/mtf/coffee/stories/index.html

    For a blog on caffeine addiction: http://www.caffeineweb.com

    I’m really flabbergasted t hat a person claiming to be a Christian and purporting to offer insightful wisdom can so unashamedly support coffee consumption.