Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Choose Happiness

Life comes with many stages.

This may sound strange, but I'm looking forward to turning 60 years old.  That won't happen until 2012, but I'm closing in on it by the day!  :o)  And why am I looking forward to that age? 

Because I expect to be happy.  Why so?  Because I'm choosing to be happy at my current age, right on through until I go to be with Jesus (at which time, He promises, I'll be even happier).

Because if not now, when?

I know it may be easy for me to say that (and you may feel like smacking me about now).  After all, I've had years (and years) to dwell on my problems and disappointments and tragedies in life.  So maybe I've just been able over time to get my negative thinking out of my system and improve my outlook.

But I don't know.  I think it's more a case of "I wish I had known then what I know now."  I wish I had known that with a little resolve there is much to appreciate and enjoy in any stage of life.  I wish I had known I didn't have to feel so down and be so negative all those years.  I wish I had known I could change my thinking and my life by deliberately and actively choosing better things to think about ... or sing about (just as Paul did when he was in prison, Acts 16:25).

But that was then and this is now.  The joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  I choose joy.  I choose to make happiness and positivity my default mode.  I'm not talking about being deliriously happy every minute, but rather a generally consistent state of contentment.

Will I still have trials and loss and periods of grieving and sadness?  Maybe.  But the worst of those days should run their course.  Plus I've learned I can find something to be thankful for and happy about even then.  Will I have to wrestle the Devil and myself to prevail?  Undoubtedly, but with God's help I hope to defeat the Devil by being happy.

Do I have fears and limitations?  Yes, but I choose to be happy in spite of them.  Are there scary times ahead in this world?  We know so because the Bible says so.  But what can we do but keep on keeping on?

Through it all, may I choose to be happy.  Clear to the end of my race.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good
while they live.
Ecclesiastes 3:12

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!
Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11

I choose to finish strong.  And happy.  Care to join me?

Photo by a family member who wishes to remain anonymous.

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