By Lauren M.
I’ve been wondering if I should join the #100HappyDays Challenge, but I realized that I don’t have to. Is it because I’m always happy? Heck no. I do have a cheerful side, but it’s because I also have a tendency to be negative that I have had to try, with God’s help, to intentionally find things to be happy and thankful for these past several years. I realized that I have actually been doing my own version of the 100 Happy Days Challenge without meaning to.
There are days when being happy is automatic. Practice really does help so feeling cheerful takes less and less effort over time, sometimes even none (occasionally, I even have to suppress a smile when I’m walking alone para hindi isipin ng iba na nakatakas ako mula kung saan haha). There are days when blessings simply overflow and I can’t help but be happy. And sometimes, I just feel sunny because the sky is blue and the sun is shining (or because the wind is unusually cool for Philippine standards and I can wear a sweater!).
There are days when things can go either way. There are “normal” days when nothing out of the ordinary happens. Then there are days that are a mix of simple blessings and minor problems. Whether I feel happy or not on such days depends on how I react to things, whether I choose to be positive or negative, whether I choose to focus on the blessings or the problems. Sometimes, I succeed in being happy. Sometimes, I fail. But even if I fail, that’s fine. Tomorrow is another day, another gift of grace from God.
And there are days when it’s useless to even try to be jolly or when I wonder what’s the point of doing so. Days when there are great sorrows, big problems or major disappointments. Or days when di mo lang talaga feel. I’m not saying one can’t have a peaceful kind of joy during times of trials, just that there are times when it’s okay if one can’t smile or laugh. During such days, I pray that I will learn to just rest quietly in God, who is there for us whether we are happy or sad, who accepts us whether we succeed or fail in our efforts to stay positive. During such days, may I learn to wait patiently until He himself restores my joy…
Sometimes, I admit I wish I was like other people who are naturally happy, who have it all together, who have less problems. That way, I don’t have to make a conscious effort to be joyful anymore. But I guess one advantage of being a very imperfect person with a very imperfect life is that it forces me to rely on God’s grace and to be thankful for every day of happiness He grants me.
To everyone who joined or is planning to join the 100 Happy Days Challenge, I just want to say “Enjoy!” I admire your efforts. I hope God will bless you with more joy as you consciously try to find things in your life to be thankful for. Because I still believe there are a lot 🙂
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)