Calculate Your Happiness Today

17 Feb

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Litanies.  We can all go through litanies of grief, litanies of shame, litanies of hurts, and litanies of troubles.  That’s just who we are in our most basic, mortal makeup.  We are people who count the things that are wrong and that go wrong.  I have friends who tell me why they are so miserable and I have other friends who try to top their lists to be even more miserable.  That’s the way it seems to go.

Do we know anyone who counts blessings?  If so, are they in the majority or minority of our lives?  For that matter, who are we?  Are we trouble counters or happiness counters?

They say that a person’s personality is generally locked in around the age of two or three.  I have seen a lot of happy children and a lot of miserable children.  Sometimes, they take the cues from their parents.  Other times, it’s just the way the children interact with their world.  Some seem to focus on nothing but the problems of life.  They walk around with perpetually wrinkled faces because things are not going right for them.  Others walk around with perpetual smiles because everything they encounter is a source of delight and giggles.

When all we do is count our troubles, we count God out of our lives.  Focusing upon all the ills around us and in our lives tends to make us think that there is no hope.  People like that blame God for a lot of their ills and often drift away from Him.  Not only is that a miserable way to live, it doesn’t give a person much hope for the future.   These are the kind of people we try to avoid because they always bring us down.

Those who calculate happiness, on the other hand, are quick to realize their relationship with one another, with the world, and with God.  They see things as legitimate gifts and respond with joy.  They are the kind of people with whom we like to associate because their joy is contagious.  Being around them provides us with a lift in our own lives.

Human nature tends to bring us down.  Jesus gives us hope.  We do not have to allow our nature to steer us toward counting the troubles in our lives.  Instead, we can choose to focus on all that the Lord has done for us and choose to be happy.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God to help you to see and appreciate your many blessings today.