Mornings have a pretty predictable routine for me these days. I wake up with our 4-month-old and enjoy a few quiet moments together before her older brother starts to stir. While she enjoys a bottle, I turn the news on in the background. I move between looking down to catch glances of Mia’s little hazel eyes and looking up at the TV to hear about today’s weather.
Each morning, as I listen to the reporting on dew points or rainfall amounts, I’m always a bit fascinated by how meteorologists determine the wording for the day’s forecast. There’s a whole variety of ways to describe what you can expect to see out your window on a given day. So how does one decide if today is mostly cloudy or partly cloudy or just plain cloudy? Or, for that matter, what dictates if you choose to describe today as just sunny instead of mostly sunny?
I wonder if it’s a bit like seeing the glass half-full or half-empty. Does a meteorologist who’s having a rather glum day say that the day will be partly cloudy, whereas a person with a more cheerful outlook on life might call that same day partly sunny? It makes me think that a few simple words in the forecast could have more of an impact on our daily outlook than we might think.
Then again, it seems to me there’s a certain science to how all of us determine our mindset for any given day, regardless of what the sky tells us. Like the clouds or sun, there’s generally two different approaches to our days. Either we can see this day as a gift we’re given or that each day is simply something we’re entitled to have.
If we wake up each morning with the assumption that we’ve somehow earned another day here on earth, we might feel irked when things don’t go our way, or we’re annoyed when plans go awry. We deserve good health and fulfilling days, after all, and when that doesn’t happen it feels like we’ve somehow been robbed of what was rightfully ours.
On the other hand, if we wake up with a deep sense of gratitude, we realize that nothing is promised and everything is a gift. Every breath, every joy and frustration, every laugh and tear—they’re all filled with the mercies of God. The day may not go just the way you’d hoped, and yet it’s another day we get to experience the goodness of God’s grace in all sorts of ways. And that’s certainly something to be thankful for.
Yes, the meteorologist might tell us whether to expect partly cloudy skies… or mostly sunny ones. But, in many ways, we get to decide what the day will hold. Will it be clouded with bitterness or annoyance? Or will it be filled with gratitude and hope? It’s up to us to determine today’s forecast.