I’ve built two houses from foundation to roof in my life. Don’t be too impressed since they were doll houses. I made one for my youngest sister back when I was a teenager and I assembled one for my mother-in-law a few years ago. I’m not particularly a skilled craft-type hobbyist, but I do remember a feeling of deep satisfaction with each major phase of construction. When everything was complete, I experienced a profound sense of accomplishment. It is so gratifying to be able to point to something tangible that you’ve accomplished. For this reason, I think that we get the most stressed about the things we need to do in life that never seem to end.

Consider a few things most of us encounter every day. We make the bed but tomorrow we will need to do it again. We groom but our hair (if we have any) just won’t stay where we want it to. We open the cabinet and grab a clean mug for coffee only to wash the mug and put it in the cabinet again. And on it goes. Thankfully many of these types of repetitive, unending things can be done as a matter of habit with little thought or trouble, but some things don’t seem to end, and they tax our will. Things like going into work, paying the bills, telemarketer phone calls, medical information forms at the doctor’s office, and more are just irksome enough to dampen the twinkle in our eyes or sour the sweetness of the day. I’m feeling a bit sapped just writing about those things. Those things are not going away anytime soon, so it seems wise to find and focus on repetitive things that recharge us.

Smile at someone. It never gets old to receive a genial smile. Be patient when others are not. In doing so you are giving the gift of consideration and respect. Giving to others because we want and choose to bless them is a powerful approach to rejuvenation amid the mundane plodding repetition of each day. Go into every situation with a settled commitment to be a blessing to others, and you will be enriched in countless ways. But how do you live in the real, broken, hurting, and sometimes draining world yet work up enough emotional reserve to bequeath blessings everywhere you go and anytime you can?

T. A. W. G. What is that you inquire? Time Alone with God. The abbreviation was used to make it stand out when I was a teen. If you want to be a distributor of blessings, you will need to make time every day for relational interactions with the Giver of all good things, the Fountain of blessings – God. And to aid in the pursuit of those exchanges between you and God there are some habits, some repetitive practices, that align you with the Source of abundant life. Multiple times of prayer each day, reading and pondering the Bible, keeping a journal of gratitude and a list of prayers answered, and reciting a powerful motto all work to be a conduit of blessings and goodness. You may wonder what motto I am referencing. Learn to repeat to yourself the phrase, “Keep the golden rule.” Tell yourself that when you are stuck in traffic. Remind yourself before you speak to someone who is being terse or rude. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Forgive. Refuse to become bitter. Consider T. A. W. G. as daily exercise time with God your personal trainer. Spiritual health is a powerful booster and bulwark against the stresses of tedium and weariness.

In these times when conflict and vitriol dominate interpersonal discourse, choose to be the person committed to letting the love of Christ gleam grace and blessing resplendently, lavishly, and extravagantly in every situation. Spreading the light may not be something that will ever be finished, but it is something that enriches as it is spent. Living in this way fills each day with grace and sublime satisfaction.

Contact Pastor Lamb at icumc@yahoo.com.