I’m not sure who authored the phrase, “Attitude is half the battle,” but there are days where I wonder if fifty percent is far too small a percentage. Some days, I’d say attitude is ninety percent of the battle. You know those days, right? The days before you even wake up, you know it’s going to be a struggle. The lack of sleep, the lack of sunlight, the lack of right relationships, or the worries from the day before encroach upon your thoughts before consciousness has had a chance to awaken. Though the clock may say it’s a new day, you certainly don’t feel like it is.
It seems like I’ve had far too many of those days lately, friends, to be honest. I’ve had my Light Therapy lamp going for a few weeks, and, while it’s helped greatly, it’s not a cure-all. I continue to battle depressing thoughts and a negative attitude. I know, too, that my over-scheduled calendar is a huge part of the problem, but frankly, the calendar isn’t going anywhere. More than that, even though I do daily morning devotions, I’m not currently in a Bible study. This, I’m realizing, may be the biggest problem. Not studying God’s word and making it a priority is the real issue, for when I center my thoughts on the world and it’s cares, I am not held in place. I feel as if everything is spinning out of control, like I’m caught in a horrible case of “life” vertigo. God and Christ Jesus are the center of my gravity; they hold me steady, but I have lost my balance, my center of gravity.
I am frustrated and reaping the fruit of a life without margin.
So what do I do? Light therapy helps, and self-care is beneficial, but there is more I need to do. I play worship and praise music throughout the day and, again, it helps, but it is not a replacement for the study of God’s word. I need more. I need more than “quick fixes” and a carbohydrate style of filling myself spiritually. I need margin, the margin of God’s word. His word provides margin where there is none.
Remember this visual of putting important things first?
I haven’t kept the study of God’s word a priority. And nothing else fits. Because His word is the biggest thing. His word is the most important thing. And when you don’t keep it first, all the other “stuff” will squeeze God right out of the way. Little by little, before you know it, you’ll have tip-toed your way out of His presence; one small, quiet step at a time. I don’t want God to be an acquaintance. I want Him to be my most intimate of friends. I want Him to be the first person I run to in the joyful and sorrowful moments that fill my day.
When I am not reading and studying God’s word daily, I am left feeling empty. My soul hungers for Him because I am not feasting on the Word.
That feeling of satiation? It’s what’s been missing. Don’t get me wrong, worship and praise music and daily devotions are wonderful, but I dare say they are my “carbs.” They are good, and beneficial, but are not meant to be a substitute for being in God’s word. I can’t rely on them alone for providing what I need. I need the “meat” of His word.
My attitude lately has, quite frankly, stunk. It’s one thing to say attitude is half the battle, but it’s another to admit that the battle isn’t won by attitude alone. It takes standing next to the One who has already won the battle.