The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest in charge Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

As we age it is common for us to reflect on our lives. One might ask, "What have I accomplished, and what would I do over again if I could?" For some, there is a feeling of thanksgiving for the blessings of a good life. Others regret that they spent so many years with unsatisfying work or that their problems with family and friends seem to persist. Some even say, "I've waste my life, and now it is almost over." This last reflection on one's life is indeed sad, but a choice can be made to stay in this sadness or to have the courage to achieve a semblance of joy in the coming days. As is sometimes said, "Life isn't over until it's over." For most of us there is still an opportunity to live with a spirit of thanksgiving even if the remaining time of life is short.

Wherever you are on your life's journey it is a good practice to begin each day in a positive way. Maybe there have been many problem-filled days in the past, but today you can discover a brand new day with bright possibilities. You have a choice of what you intend to make of your day.

While walking my dog I had a brief chat with a neighbor who said that his "yesterday" had been a bad day. Today he had to fix the plumbing in a rental property. To get his day going, however, instead of dwelling only on the chores he had to do, he went to his truck to retrieve his favorite coffee cup. He was going to get his day off to a good start. We smiled and wished each other a fine day. Whatever he had to do he was going to enjoy a good cup of coffee before challenging his work.

Beginning each day in a positive manner celebrates what the Psalmist wrote: "You make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy." (Psalm 65:8) A morning coffee is a good time to be still and to be aware of God's presence within and all around. We don't have to succumb to the problems of the past but can move forward seeking God's presence if only for that day. (Psalm 105:4) "Those who rise early to seek God will find blessing." (Ecclesiasticus 32:14)

Be like a child with open-eyed wonder at the world around you. Everything you see won't be pretty, but you won't miss what is good; and take the opportunity to make your world a little better place for yourself and others.

If you prefer tea, that works just as well as the joy of a cup of coffee.