Right choices make happy living

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

Each dawn brings a brand new day … one that has never been lived before. It comes tiptoeing through my window with spectacular splendor. The hues of pink streaked with rays of sunshine make an indescribable painting of beauty. The mockingbird’s overture begins as he cheerfully bows before nature’s audience. Even the trees clap their hands, welcoming a new day. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
This new day comes as a present wrapped in God’s love … a precious gift for happy living. Life is an exciting adventure. It can be lived with thanksgiving or it can be lived with murmuring and complaining. We choose and our attitude makes the difference. Even in hard times we can still find the good and something to be thankful for.
We recently buried my last extended family member. Uncle Steve, at 92, is home at last. The graveside service in that little country cemetery filled my heart with peace. A distant train’s whistle and a dove cooing to his mate reminded me that life goes on, yet a Christian never says goodbye for the last time. Uncle Steve leaves a void in our hearts but his upbeat, joyful spirit remains. He made a choice to be happy long ago, despite his handicaps. Good memories bless the soul. (Proverbs 10:7)
God’s gifts depend on how we use them. We decide. It’s not what we have or don’t have. Things never supply lasting happiness, but love, family and friends are precious gifts that money cannot buy.
The instant we open our eyes each morning we have a choice. Proverbs 17:22 helps make the right decision: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
No matter what has happened in the past or what happens in the future we can make up our minds to see the best in any situation because “the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
Giving God control of one’s life enables the believer to make good choices. God’s promises give the power to change a life. One can place confidence in him, knowing through right choices sins are forgiven and lives are empowered to live by his teachings.
Making good choices in this journey of life has many benefits. Trials become triumphs, problems have solutions, questions have answers, gain dispels pain, depression fleas, optimism reigns, peace pervades, blessings pursue, fear retreats, faith advances, restoration occurs and joy prevails.
The apostle Paul made a decision to be happy each day: “I am not telling you this because I need anything. I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough. I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13 NCV).
Time is fleeting. Today is the time to live, love, laugh and be happy for “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of man; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).
So choose to be happy today, tomorrow and everyday. You will have a lot of happy days and a lot of happy memories.
Right choices make happy living!