My Psalm 100
Noise of Joy
As a supervisor, it would not take anyone working with me or under my supervision to learn that mistakes were best discovered after 9 AM. I did not mind someone making a mistake first thing when they got to work, nor did I mind realizing an earlier day had mistakes. What I minded was someone messing up the miracle of the new day.
I am an optimist. I do not think only good things happen. I do not think I have to like the reality of the present moment. What I firmly believe in is that all things can have a positive outcome. Sometimes that is a really difficult thing to believe. Yet, I think something good can come out of the greatest despair and tragedy. I see no point in wallowing in pain. It doesn’t burn calories. It doesn’t make one younger. It solves not a single problem and, in fact, is extremely unhealthy. Sometimes, the only good thing I can find in a person is that at the end of the day they go home to some other abode. Still, their life has purpose. After all, all life has value. Even the peskiest mosquito or fly has a purpose. [Having spent the last several minutes trying to coax one into the out of doors, I would find it hard to give that purpose, but perhaps it will be to make the peace I now have more valuable!]
Psalm 100 is my most favorite psalm. I memorized it for a school play at the illustrious age of six and have never forgotten it. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!” It is a great way to start one’s day.
Okay, so maybe starting the day like this isn’t quite your style. My personal mantra for each and every day is this: “This is the day which the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it….or else!” Give me garbage first thing in the morning and be prepared for the worst, biggest, most cutting response I could possibly give. Why? Is it because I’ve rested all night and have an excess of energy to expend? Is it because I feel that the person making the mistake is a sorry excuse for a human being? Maybe I simply am just mad that no one can achieve my level of greatness? The answer is “None of the above”.
It is true that my response will be a hundred times worse first thing in the morning but it has nothing to do with my greatness level, which is something negative forty on a scale of one to ten! Neither is it based upon my impression of the other person not any energy I may or may not have. It has everything, however, to do with Psalm 100. No matter one’s position in life, one’s type of home, ‘one’s clothing, one’s level of education – We can all make a joyful noise. I think to do less, especially first thing in the morning, is to ignore the gift of life.
Noise is simply unwanted sound. There are thousands of definitions based upon your area of science and ways to determine what is acceptable sound and what is trash. Municipalities have, in the past thirty years, enacted noise ordinances. As any teenager can tell you, the simplest definition of noise is what parents do NOT want to hear! Anti-noise or sound, pleasing tones are used for everything from celebrations to ordinations and yes, even in grief. Pleasing sounds, also called music, can be everything from one lone folk singer walking through a wooded area strumming lightly on a guitar to a magnificent festal performance in some of the most stately and historic of all settings.
I firmly believe how we greet the morning is how we live the day. No matter our responsibilities, no matter our station in life, no matter whether we are trying to stretch our resources or full of everything possible, we are faced with a choice each new day. Do we live it finding joy or do we live it full of grumpiness. Life is messy and negative things are going to occur. How we give them priority, though, is ours to decide. My soul cannot be taken unless I give it. Do yourself a favor today and make a joyful noise. Walk with a “yippee!” in your step. Stand tall with a “glorious” in your posture. Extend a “joyful” smile to a stranger. Yeah, okay so a few people will think you are crazy. Odds are, they were going to be judgmental about something anyway. You have just made sure, taken control, of becoming a vessel of happiness, whether that person realizes it or not.
Today it is a Monday and even if your Monday is in the waning hours or maybe has already passed (some are reading this on the other side of the International Date Line), it is never too late to make a joyful noise. Someone gives you an insult, thank them. Once I was leaving classes from my first day at a new school. Walking out a classmate, a stranger to me, ran up and yelled: “You are the ugliest girl in the world!” Not having ever been taught how to handle such, I simply said “Thank you.” The young man ran off and I waited for tears to well up in my eyes. Suddenly I realized I was still standing and had just lived through every girl’s nightmare…and was still standing. The world had not ended and was, in fact, a pretty beautiful afternoon. I also realized a slow smile was breaking across my face. I felt empowered! It may have been an insult but – wow! What a great experience of empowerment! I remember that whenever I face something I’m unsure about, a possible “big gulp” moment. Even in this highly technical and sometimes automated world, we can still make a joyful noise.
So go out there and make a joyful noise! It doesn’t have to cost anything except a smile. Most importantly, smile inside. Walk with knowledge that you have value. No matter your spirituality, your faith, your religion – you have value.
The first light of the new day, the first sunrise of the United States of America occurs in Guam. I leave you with a choir from Guam. Whether you thank Jesus, G-D, Allah, Buddha, or read the Veda texts, know that you have the power to act and react with joy on this beautiful day. This is a new day – your day. Make it a good one!
My Psalm 100
Creator of all, today my eyes opened.
I am alive. Glory be! Thank you!
As I put my feet on the floor, may I walk in joy.
As I meet the day, may I greet all with a smile.
As I bid the day goodnight, may I be grateful.
Thank you, Great Spirit, for the good and the bad.
I hope I used the former to the best of my ability and the latter as life lessons.
The world knows the magnificence of its creator.
I hope to live each day as a testament to you, O Father.
Hallelujah! Life rocks!