A new day dawns 365 times in a year. I don’t know how old you are, but if you do the math, it’s not hard to be impressed. So many days. So many new beginnings. So many choices.
Some start each day with a groan and the snooze alarm.
Some start with the certainty that they will be amazed and gifted.
Some dread the new day, some revel in it.
But one thing is certain. We all have the honor and privilege of opening our eyes and activating our power of choice. All day, the events and circumstances of our lives call us to decide the best course of action. From the moment the alarm sounds in the morning, to the last prayer on our lips as we drift off to sleep, we decide how we greet and treat this day.
When the end of the day does arrive, in our quieter moments, the just-lived day unfolds before us, playing in our heads like a sports highlight reel. The questions of ‘what happened today’ and ‘how did I respond’ find an answer in short bursts of memory that begin slowly, but then pick up steam. Soon, the choices made and the results of them wash over us like an ocean wave.
The good decisions, the victories and generous acts performed, those are the comforters. Faced with helping ourselves or our neighbor, we activated the grace in our souls to create moments of heaven on earth. Not only did joy come to the ones we served, it came to us too.
But not every choice was a good one. As much and as hard as we try, falling short of the goal to make healthy and loving decisions for ourselves and for others…well…it happens. We are human, armed equally with grace and weakness. Not to mention short attention spans in the spirituality department. So sometimes weakness wins out, and remembering those moments is anything but comfortable.
Finally, before heading off to bed, we are faced with the biggest choice of the day.
Are the mistakes we made today allowed to cling to our weary minds, flooding the soul with waves of sorrow? Or can we instead challenge ourselves to learn from the less-than-our-best moments, ask for forgiveness, and then allow the mistakes to sink into the ocean of mercy that is God?
Until we can make peace with ourselves and God and perhaps whoever we hurt that day, tomorrow will not dawn full of promise. Instead, it will find us waking with souls filled with the heaviness of regret. That’s no way to begin a day.
We all have the grace of choice, and can begin each day with joy and wonder. Yesterday is gone, and all that should be carried forward now are the lessons learned from it.
Wiser and more understanding, let’s be on our way in this new day, ready to make better decisions. May we never forget or refuse to gratefully accept the renewed mercies of God.
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