Changing Moods- Look, See, Pray

As the mood takes me…

Generally I am a cheerful optimistic ray of sunshine. That can change as quickly as the weather, although not to extremes (usually). Some of us are more prone to low moods or rapid mood swings; and there are often “triggers” that bring the change. Being human means we are subject to moods- it’s the natural response to external or internal circumstances.

My photo is a parable of changeability. The day before, Dartmoor was bathed in clear winter sunshine, and wearing a warm jacket was only a nod to common sense. Overnight the wind veered north-east and the polar air mass wobbled its way to the hills and moorland of glorious Devon. My word, it was parky! Snow covered the fields and the hedges stood stood out in stark relief under a lowering sky that threatened more to come. Moody landscapes are much sought after by photographers. Changing light transforms the countryside, and on this day there was just the perfect amount of low-angled sunlight to draw long shadows over the snow.

Because my “inner kid” loves fresh snow, I was happy as a five-year-old playing snowballs!

Quite a few people that I talked to had a very different view. Some were plain grumpy. Some were scared of falling and yet more were worried about their “old folks.” A predictable mad dash to empty the shops “just in case” created traffic chaos in the town… and some children squealed and laughed and slid and bounced around in exuberant joy.

We can’t change the world to suit ourselves. And what happens if Fred is praying for rain when Charlie is praying for sun? How does God sort that out?

Although we are all affected by circumstances, we don’t have to be dominated by them. “As the mood takes me” surely ought to be more “As God guides me” and “As I have become more mature…”

Back in the days of the Old Testament, a guy with a long name and big faith wrote a short book. It’s still worth reading. His days were in the winter of Israel’s history when trouble had come and worse was expected. Habakkuk protested about the hardship of living in terrible times, he pleaded with God for mercy. But instead of getting in a stroppy mood, he penned one of the most beautiful statements of faith ever written. In spite of the troubles, he chose to trust that God was NOT limited by circumstances- and that trouble should not dominate our thinking and behaviour. In our own days of pandemic crisis, economic worries, and restrictions of our activity, it may be worth reading his closing words and making them a prayer for today.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (New Living Translation) Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18  yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19  The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.

I wonder how much that kind of trust in God may shift and improve our changing moods…

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