November 25, 2020
Life Is Too Short To Live Unhappy
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“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” Psalm 90:12 (CEV)
I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw a large SUV headed straight for my car at a breakneck speed. My heart and mind started racing, and panic instantly set in.
With fear in my voice, I started saying out loud, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” rendering my friend who was with me immediately bewildered. I was convinced that within mere seconds, we were going to be slammed from behind by a reckless vehicle clearly going over 100 miles per hour in heavy traffic.
Unable to change lanes or speed up because of cars on all sides, I winced and braced myself for the impact. By the sheer grace of God alone, the driver missed hitting my car by a literal inch as he skidded into the lane beside me, nearly hitting another vehicle, tires screeching and burning, filling the air with clouds of smoke. He continued darting in and out of traffic, causing more near-collisions, then quickly disappeared into the distance.
As I sat there stunned, loosening my fingers from the white-knuckle grip I had on the steering wheel, my friend and I began to talk about what if we had been hit. How life could have been changed in an instant — or even ended — had God not miraculously stopped the driver from hitting my car in the nick of time.
I thought about my precious children. My family. Things undone. I wondered if I would have regrets had that been my last day. I began to ponder if I was truly enjoying and embracing the life God had given me, even if it hadn’t turned out the way I thought it would or should. I couldn’t help but ask myself if I was inadvertently taking for granted the sheer blessing of waking up every morning and being given another day, and if I was spending time being unhappy because of difficult circumstances instead of living with joy.
In Psalm 90:12, the psalmist reminds us that all of our days are numbered and none of us know how many we will have: “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.” Therefore, we should all live as if the present day is our last. If we actually did this, would we live differently? We might:
- Think more positively.
- Forgive quicker.
- Step out of our comfort zones and do that thing God has been calling us to do.
- Start that new career.
- Spend more time with loved ones.
- Make more time for ourselves.
- Allow ourselves to have fun.
- Live happily and full of His joy no matter what each day holds.
As we drove in silence for a while, this verse and question continued to swirl in my mind. I was vividly reminded of the fragility of life as well as the importance of appreciating every single moment God’s given us and living life with a happy heart instead of a heavy one. What a shame we might waste the only life we have being grumpy all the time because we allow our problems and disappointments to steal our joy and shift our daily focus from thankfulness to disgruntledness.
Whether we’re facing a divorce, illness, financial hardships, loss of loved ones, relationship problems, unemployment, disappointment, crushed dreams — we can still make the intentional choice to be thankful for the life we have, even if it looks different than we want it to. We can still determine to enjoy the life God has given us and remember to thank Him every day for what we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t. We can still choose to be happy, despite our circumstances.
Time is precious. We need to use the time we have in this life wisely and commit to waking up each day with the joy of Christ in our hearts and a smile on our faces. Wasting time being unhappy about the way life turns out is something I want to avoid — God wants us to enjoy the life He has designed for us.
Lord, I have allowed myself to get into a pattern of being unhappy due to my circumstances, even though You have given me so many blessings I often take for granted. Forgive my ungratefulness. Help me embrace Your gifts of true joy and peace and remember to choose happiness every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How might you live life differently if you woke up each morning with a smile and a happy heart, despite what that day may hold?
What steps can you take to change your attitude to embrace a life of happiness instead of discouragement, even if your circumstances stay the same? Let us know in the comments!
© 2020 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.