I just heard on the news that January 17th is the "saddest" day of the year for the general population. Really? How do the powers that be know that? A survey? A scientific study? I guess it makes sense that the end of January can be pretty challenging. Especially if you live in snow country!
As I pondered this news flash, I thought about how easy it is to feel joy and excitement during the holiday season. Thanksgiving brings a feast and football! Christmas is a time of more family gatherings and unexpected gifts. Then we celebrate the end of the year with New Year's Eve and often January 1st finds us making resolutions ~ fresh starts! Yet, by the middle of January, many have become disheartened. The endless cold weather adds to the discouragement we may feel. Here in the upper Midwest, we call it the "winter blues". Maybe even "cabin fever".
Through the winter blues God lovingly anoints us with many fresh starts that can turn any January sadness into joy! Each day we open our eyes is a fresh start! Forgiveness of our sins gives us a new beginning. The gifts of worship, inspirational music and books, and the gifts of places like Spiritual Sundays are available to help turn our sadness into joy. The love of family and friends, and God's unconditional love and grace can fill us with so much joy that there is no room for anything else.
When the news tells us we are experiencing the saddest days of the year, don't take their word for it, just lift up your voice in praise and smile. After all, every day is a new beginning!
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