I was reading a bit from a favorite author this morning (Kris Valloton). He has insight like few people I’ve met. But it made me think about this past year. It reminded me of what a great year I had and I thought I’d share some things that made it so great.
If you had a rough 2017, this isn’t meant to compare mine to yours or anything like that. Here’s a quote from Kris:
“The truth is that even if you walk with radical faith and
outrageous courage, you sometimes go through seasons when
the mere frequency of things going wrong in your life can be
discouraging and overwhelming.
“One of the worst things that can happen in difficult seasons is
that you begin to expect things to go wrong. Expectation is the
fruit of faith. In other words, you believe things are going to go
wrong, and therefore you empower destructive outcomes.
Simply put, by faith, your life sucks!”
That last part jumped out at me because I had for many years been the expectant recipient of the proverbial “other shoe drop.” My thinking was “for every thing that went good, something bad was on the way.” I discovered in 2017 that it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s one thing to have bad things happen to good people and godly people. It’s another thing entirely to plan on them. And if you are expecting that shoe to show it’s ugly mug in your life, then you are planning for it!
Another key I discovered:
Much of what drives our happiness is what we experience and how we respond. And, now a days, do we ever respond! Thanks to social media, many of our friends and neighbors (and total strangers) are afforded the opportunity to see and read our total frustrations with life. And, if we are a Christian, that is, quite frankly, not good in any possible way.
One of the big things I gained from 2017 was to become grateful in my life. And, what a DIFFERENCE it made. I know it’s hard not to take our troubles and put them on display. Mr. Cheeseburger (the dictionary liked Cheeseburger better than Zuckerburg) wants us to do that. It drives a very high percentage of what makes social media, social media.
But, if you do this instead, you will find it to be much more satisfying to you heart, soul, and psyche:
Each night, before bed (or whenever it’s most possible – even in the afternoon if necessary) come together with you spouse, best friend, kids – whoever- and take a few minutes to be thankful. Simply find three things for that day that you are thankful to God for. I have been doing this every evening with Nancy for almost a year and a half. What an amazing difference it has made. We now look throughout the day for thankfuls.
I guarantee your relationship with that person will become wonderful. Your attitude will change about that difficulties of life. And, your relationship with God will grow exponentially. It has become a great source of joy. Which is a key ingredient to happy!
So, (1) don’t look or plan for the bad. And (2) become grateful. There are more and I might discuss them further sometime. But, for 2018, these are actions that will make it a greater year!