On Sunday, Scott and I have a new tradition we recently started. After our workout, while eating breakfast, we watch an episode of Joel Osteen’s ministry on DVR. We have a ton of them saved on there (his show airs every Sunday night) and we like to use his sermons as a way to start our week off on the right foot. He has this uncanny way of using the simplest of messages to turn my perspective right around. His words are always so filled with joy — it’s written all over his face as he speaks. I dig that.
So anyway, this Sunday we watched an episode that was about staying grateful as the key to being happy. A few snippets from his sermon:
“We can either complain or praise…I’d urge you to choose praise.”
“Make a list of things that you are grateful for in life — stop focusing on the things that are upsetting to you and flip those thoughts around. Use that list to gain (or re-gain) perspective.”
“Next time that alarm clock goes off – be thankful for it. It means you’re still alive.”
He used one particularly poignant example of his brother (a doctor) who went through a period of struggle. He was working a million hours a day, he had a newborn at home that meant lots of sleep-less nights and was generally not in a very happy place. One of his patients had just passed on, and his wife was still at the hospital. She noticed that Joel’s brother seemed very anxious and stressed so she asked him how he was doing. He explained his situation, how tired he was, how much stress he was under, how hard it was to juggle a 60+ hour work week with a newborn at home. The newly-widowed woman responded, with tears in her eyes, as follows: “I’d give anything to go back to those days. To caring for my children. Cuddling them back to sleep at night. Feeding them each morning and watching them grow and prosper.” Joel’s brother sat back, stunned. His perspective was way off. This woman, who had just lost her husband, had incredible perspective. He’d been missing out. He was simply enduring vs. enjoying. You better believe he went home that night, overjoyed to change a diaper, get up in the night for the 3am feeding, and to kiss his wife before leaving for another long day at the hospital.
That was a long story but I had to share it — that message, “enduring vs. enjoying” is incredible to me. How often do we each find ourselves enduring the days, missing out on the things that make our worlds go ’round? We have just one life to live, ONE. Yet we’re often just enduring that life, not enjoying it.
So today – and everyday – I’m going to make an even bigger effort to enjoy my day, and not endure it. I’ll use Sunday’s run as an example. It was freezing cold. It would’ve been so easy to phone it in, calling it off in favor of unscheduled rest. But instead of that – we enjoyed that run. Frozen faces and all. Because we were able to run, to move those legs, to feel that icy cold air against our skin, to hear the birds chirping around us, to see the sun shining in our faces. To be alive. Freezing. But alive.
Enjoying vs. enduring.
…don’t miss out.