Psalm 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5
"Come with joy into the presence of the Lord." Today's
responsorial psalm calls most of us to make a change in our attitude.
The psalmist calls us to sing with gladness because we know the LORD is the
God that created us and tends to us like the shepherd does the sheep.
We should enter God's gates with thanksgiving and praise because the LORD's
kindness endures forever.
Why do I think this calls for an attitude change? Look around you in
a crowd, or in a classroom, or in church. Watch people during your
morning commute, or when they are at play. How many people are smiling,
resonating an inner joy? How many people seem happy with where they
are and what they are doing? If we truly believe that God is all about
us throughout creation, then every minute of every day we are in the presence
of the LORD. Do we come with joy into that presence? Do we feel
awed by the sunrise, the flutter of a butterfly's wings, the persistance
of the ant, the life force of a weed, the color of the rainbow? Do
we smile with gratitude and joy when we see people treating each other with
respect? Do we express thanks and praise each minute of each day that
we are in the presence of the LORD? Do we surrender our liberty, our
memory, our understanding, our entire will to God knowing that God will tend
to us as the shepherd does the flock? Recall the wonderful refrain
from Bobbie McFerrin's song from about 20 years ago - "Don't worry, be happy."
Do YOU feel genuinely happy?
I don't smile as much as I would like. I let the cares of the world,
the burdens of life, the responsibilities of being husband, son, father,
professor, professional, board member and volunteer cloud my joy in just
being in God's presence. I know I need an attitude change. So
my prayer today is for the grace to smile more, to be more confident in God's
care and less burdened by my self-imposed expectations - to be more joyful.