“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
“Homily Grits Devotional” http://www.homilygrits.com
Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS almost 18 years ago. He now writes by use of an eye-tracking computer, with only his eye movements. Bill’s “Unshakable Hope” should give us all a reason to count our blessings !! (bruce) Read more about Bill @ http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/about/
View original post @ http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/happiness/
From what I’ve observed, healthy babies, like my 6 month old grandson, are generally happy babies. It seems that we are created to be happy, so why are so why are many adults unhappy?
I recently read a thought-provoking article titled “10 Things to Give up in Exchange for Happiness.” The article wasn’t written from a Christian perspective, but I think everyone, regardless of their beliefs, would probably agree with the author’s following suggestions.
They’re good suggestions, but…
According to research, only about 10% of those who make just one New Year’s Resolution will succeed in keeping that resolution. I think the problem with the list is that the author is essentially asking us to make multiple resolutions in our pursuit of happiness. What are the odds?
Even if some strong-willed person succeeded in overcoming every one of these 10 happiness thieves, do you think they’d really be happy? My experience with battling and, to some extent, conquering some of my many character flaws, is that, like to-do lists, it’s never-ending. My almost 18 year battle with ALS has confirmed this. ALS has completely taken away or greatly reduced almost every item on the above list. Let me give you some examples:
Give up caring what other people think of you. If you’ve been through a trial that has diminished your physical appearance and/or your abilities (having to use a wheelchair or losing your hair to chemo, etc.), you quickly discover just how image-conscious you are. You either decide to give up caring what others think of you or lock yourself away in a remote cabin in the woods. (I considered the latter, but I knew that Mary and the girls wouldn’t come with me so I reluctantly chose the former). Over the years I’ve become really good, maybe too good, at not caring what people think of me. I laugh to myself when Mary or my caregiver spend time trying to fix my hair and become frustrated if a few hairs won’t cooperate. As they’re fussing with my hair, I’m thinking to myself; I’m completely paralyzed, wheelchair-bound and can’t speak, I don’t think people will be looking at the hair.
Give up trying to please everyone. It’s hard to please anyone when you’re completely helpless.
Give up participating in gossip. I don’t think that I was ever a gossip (that’s probably what all gossips say), but it’s been so much easier not to gossip or say hurtful and dumb things since ALS stole my voice 17+ years ago. With the help of my new eye-tracking computer, I am still able to blog and email, etc. so I haven’t completely lost my ability to gossip or say dumb and hurtful things (my family and friends can attest to this). But, like most people who’ve been humbled by a difficult trial, gossip has hopefully been replaced by words of hope and encouragement.
Give up spending money on what you don’t need in effort to buy happiness. Before ALS, like most people, I spent money on unnecessary things and activities, like taking vacations, eating at nice restaurants and buying sporting equipment, etc. I don’t think that I was “attempting to buy happiness,” I just thought, and still think, that I was enjoying God’s blessings. Since ALS, I cannot go on vacations or go out to eat, and I certainly have no use for things like sporting equipment.
Give up control. I really fought this one, but ALS finally forced me to give into Mary wearing the pants in the family. (I do still control the TV remote most of the time).