OK! Everybody Up! Rise and Shine!

Oh boy! Oh JOY! Oh no! Yes, you read that right. I woke up so early yesterday – not jolted awake because of a storm – not due to a nagging restless feeling – no signs of insomnia – just awake and ready for daylight, that didn’t peek out from under its covers for a couple hours. Good morning, good day, get up and get started … and the result?  It went something like this:
OK!  Everybody Up!    Rise and Shine!  Good Morning  to You  Good Morning to You  
I couldn’t help it. I had to share the creation of a new day and give you something to put on that blank slate. Did it work? Oh I sure hope so – because while reading last night in the Message translation, you will never believe my shock when this verse jumped off the page. Proverbs 27:14 “If you wake your friend early in the morning by shouting “Rise and shine!” it will sound more to him like a curse than like a blessing.” What?!?!  Are you kidding me? Can that be right? So reverse it … reread it … uh-huh! That’s what it says alright.
Hmmmm……what to do with that. So I thought of a few friendly, gentle, possibly slightly biased suggestions.

  1. Look away, skip over, don’t read at all.
  2. Bypass to read much, much later.
  3. Read it anyway, now, before the shades of gray start to impinge the activities of your day.

I hope you chose b or c, but I won’t know if you choose a.  The words of Ephesians 4:2 pretty well describe the purpose of that OK! Everybody Up! Rise and Shine! message. From a devotional book by Max Lucado where he expounds eloquently on topical scriptures, he writes this:  Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love. You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way. Even if you choose a, it’s an acceptable option.
Once upon a time, at least a dozen years ago, a man on a project team with me told a group of co-workers that he didn’t like me because ‘I was too perky – too happy. I came in and said good morning to people I didn’t even know – too positive.’ Considering the assessment there were a few options. The one I chose was this conversation. “Brad, I’m sorry you don’t like me. But I do like me this way. I doubt that I’m going to change who I am because you can’t tolerate kindness. I hope we can still work together and be productive.” I’m not sure if that conversation had anything to do with his sudden acceptance of a job offer in Florida or not. I hope he found what he was looking for in an environment more to his mindset, although I mostly hope he discovered joy in tolerable doses.
If I were to identify for you, the purpose behind OK! Everybody Up!   Rise and Shine! It wouldn’t be to brashly ignore the Proverbs 27:14 warning. It would be aligned more with these words in Proverbs 25:13 “Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat refreshing!” I don’t promise to post something every day – but I can promise to offer encouragement to someone every day. Words of encouragement are medicine for despair; a prescription for spiritual poverty. I will never attain the wisdom or zeal of the Apostle Paul, but reading his stories teach me to be content, seek good, guard my mind, protect my heart, practice thanks-living, and be an opportunist to share joy.
How about it? Ready for today – ready for any day – early, at daybreak, after noon, evening – what can each of us do be a spark of encouragement in some way to someone. Here we go!  Let’s get out there!

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Refining Grace