Monday, July 13, 2009

Choose Happiness

"But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.'" (Matthew 11:16-17)

It seems that some people are impossible to please. I believe that happiness is a choice, and it's a choice God wants all of us to make.

Maybe you've heard the idiom/metaphor that asks if the glass if half full or half empty. We all have a choice in how we look at life. We can focus on the sorrow and disappointment, or we can focus on the beauty and the goodness.

Don't get me wrong: I know that life is hard. It's one of the lessons I learned from my parents. It may sound strange, but I think it was a positive lesson. I don't have a sense of entitlement. I don't expect to have life handed to me on a silver platter. I expect to struggle, so I'm o.k. with it when "the going gets tough." I've grieved for loved ones and worried about money and whether I would ever find a job.

BUT... I've also enjoyed laughing myself silly with the people I love. I've smiled at the sight of an awesome sunset or a newborn baby. I've learned to appreciate how amazing it is that all of the systems in the human body work to sustain life.

I could choose to close my fist around every insult and disappointment and loss, and I would be miserable. Instead, I choose to open my hand to receive the blessings that are all around me - people, music, color, nature - and be happy.

My glass isn't half full. In the words of Psalm 23, my [glass] overflows!

QUESTION: How can people learn to focus on the beauty and blessings of life?

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