What is your first thought when your eyes open in the morning?  When your feet hit the floor, do you feel a dread for what faces you during the day?  I would dare to say that most people don't consider themselves morning people, but even if you are one who enjoys mornings like I do it doesn't mean that you greet everyday like you are Mr. or Mrs. Sunshine.  How many people live as if their goal is to just make it through another day? 

I love to people watch.  Without sounding too obvious, people look and behave drastically different when they are on vacation or doing something that they enjoy compared to when they are at work or are busy with tasks and errands.  The smiles that I see on faces at the beach disappear when we are "back to reality" and "hitting the grind" in the "real world."  It's as if we live in alternate realities, one that is pleasant and fulfilling and another that is brutal but necessary.  The goal of many is to just get to the weekend or count down the days until vacation.  We circle those dates on the map hoping that the days leading up to our getaways won't drag on too long.  It's a curious and exhausting dualism that we have created for ourselves.

We were meant for more than this.

As the pinnacles of God's creation, and as a people whom Christ died to redeem, does it make sense that our lives would be nothing but drudgery eclipsed by occasional moments of joy?  Is that how God created us to live?

I realize that life deals many of us substantial challenges on a daily basis, but are we to be defined by the hardships we face or by the life of Christ in us who has already overcome the world?  Perhaps what we need is a drastic shift in our worldview, from one that revolves around ourselves to one that acknowledges Christ as the center. 

This may sound a bit idealist to some, a little bit too much "Don't worry, be happy" for your taste.  After all, you may be dealing with something today this makes it almost impossible for you to smile or feel the tiniest bit of joy.  But again let me remind you, we are not defined by our circumstances or struggles.  It is Christ who defines our lives and gives us purpose.  No job, financial hardship, relational conflict, or interpersonal struggle could ever do that.

When your eyes open and your body shifts so that your feet hit the floor, make Christ the first delight and joy of your day.  Consider it an honor to live another moment of a life that matters to Him.  Realize that every single day God desires to accomplish His work in you and through you.  This life is not your own.  You were bought with a price.  The adversary who continues to dog you has already been defeated.  Each day is an opportunity to live a life for the glory of God no matter how mundane or overwhelming the tasks that lie ahead. 

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