When fall weather comes, most of us are invigorated. The vice of heat we have endured during the summer months is loosened. But sometimes the weather doesnít consult the calendar, and summer lingers, wearing out its welcome. We lose our momentum like horses forced to wait at the starting gate long past the time for the signal gun to fire. Sometimes this situation makes us jump the gun and have to go back and start over. You can see that energy is getting lost in the shuffle.

Yet there is a way to experience a burst of energy and even a lifetime sustained supply no matter what the weather or circumstance. We can choose to accept the joy of the Lord. The angels announced joy to the world at the birth of Jesus. And whenever and wherever we ask him to enter our lives. He brings this glorious gift and spreads it around in abundance.

Why do you suppose He said we must become like little children? He didnít mean for us to throw tantrums and grab what someone else has. No. We already do that on our on. No, I believe he was referring to the pure delight which we can see in childrenís eyes and the unconditional love which radiates from them. Children often have the ability to believe and trust in a way which we adults have lost perhaps because of our experiences or fear and worry.

Over and over the Bible emphasizes that we can have peace of mind and joyful hearts even in the worst circumstances if we trust and obey God and donít give in to hopelessness.

Some people say they wake up in the morning with a song in their hearts ìraring to go.î But I must tell you that does not describe my waking moments. No. I have to make a special effort to get to that point. To get my mind going in the right direction, I say, ìThis is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.î The word ìwillî means that there may be a good bit of effort required ó mental and spiritual effort.

Music has always had the power to inspire me; so I sing or hum a song to get my energy flowing. One of my favorites from childhood is ìIíve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart.î If I get going on this song, I try to remember all the stanzas like ìIíve got the love of Jesus down in my heartî and ìIíve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart.î All the while I am singing, I try to feel what I am singing about.

God gave us the breath of life, but often we forget the cleansing strength of deep breathing. Getting in motion can also bring vigor. Get up. Get moving. Drink plenty of water. God created our bodies to be made up of a lot of fluids. If we wait until we are thirsty, we are already dehydrated. No wonder we want to give up before we even get started.

When our vigor increases, our courage increases. We must let go of our worries and let God do wonders. In our weakness Godís strength comes into play. I like this popular saying: ìWhen we are down to nothing, God is up to something.î And it certainly looks to me as if we are ìdown to nothingî now in more ways than one.

But, you know, we are on Easy Street in comparison to the problems faced by our ancestors. Think about during the American Revolution when our soldiers were facing a bleak winter of starvation at Valley Forge or during the War of 1812 when Dolley and President Madison had to leave their dinner hot off the stove and run for their lives to escape the British who were bent on burning down the place.

Yes, our forefathers made it through those times, and we can make it through our own moment of trial if we donít let fear get the upper hand. We are in much better shape now than we were when we had to jump into World War II. So letís spend our days rejoicing and thanking God because all good things come from God. If we tried to name all our blessings, we wouldnít have enough hours in the day. So letís have a real breakthrough of joy! And letís encourage our young people to see life this way, too. One of my colleagues in teaching seniors at Irving High School always met her students at the classroom door with a smile and these words, ìDonít worry. Be happyî It may sound corny, but it worked. Itís worth a try, donít you think?

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Gelene Simpson is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears Tuesdays.

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