Monday, February 1, 2010

Deep Thought Of The Day: It's a Choice

Editor's Note: This devotion will appear in the 2010 lenten devotional I'm compiling for my church. Think of this as a sneak peak, since it started as a "draft" on my blog. I was finally inspired to finish it last night.

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12.

I recently had the opportunity to interview a friend, whose daughters live with a rare genetic disease.

Until sometime last year, she found herself thinking about happiness as something she could only find in the future.

Then she ran across this quote: 

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.

"At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” - Alfred D Souza

She realized that her happiness begins in the everydayness of life. She didn’t have to wait for the future. She could be happy amidst the daily grind of caring for two girls with a devastating illness.

My friend’s not alone. If we admit it, there are times when we all find ourselves living as if tomorrow is when life begins.

“When I pay off my bills…,”
“When I get married…”
“When I have the perfect job…”
“When I …"

... the list goes on and on and on.....

Obviously, this isn't a new thought or idea. You can see this idea appear in literature and other aspects of "popular" culture.

Scarlett O'Hara probably summed up lots of our thoughts in her famous statement: "Tomorrow, I'll think of some way...after all, tomorrow is another day." (Gone With The Wind.)

Sometimes, we forget that God wants us to find joy in life in the present. He wants us to turn our wailing into dancing. He doesn’t promise that we’ll always be happy, but he also doesn’t want us to live our lives thinking that we’ll only find happiness in the future.

Something to think about: What moment do you have right now, that seems like an obstacle, but can provide you with happiness? Why not take time today to write down five things – no matter how big or small – that bring you joy today. You may find yourself giving thanks in a new way today.

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