Something has come to my attention lately that I think is hard to grasp. It’s what it means to be happy or pleased in all circumstances. And unfortunately, this is for sure a tough one to master.
A couple weeks ago I finished finals. This included grueling hours of studying and writing five-paged papers, and not a whole lot of rest. During the midst of this craziness, I kept thinking, “Just keep going. And then you’ll be in the comfort of your pajamas in your home with a nice hot cup of cocoa in your hands and not a care in the world.”
Well, flash forward later, and I am at home for winter break from college. And ya know what? The hot cocoa and pajamas and sleeping in until 10am was great, for the first couple of days. But at this point, I’m about done with it.
I am at the point where I am, frankly, bored. I’m thinking of when I can go back to school. I’m thinking if only it was that time, then I’d be happy. Then I’d be content.
Isn’t it funny how I could want rest so badly for such a long amount of time, and now I yearn for business? That’s a bit peculiar, my friend.
I wonder if you can relate.
“Be content in all circumstances” – Philippians 4:11-13. This means not always looking to “what-if’s” and start living for the here and now.
I realized, in my late-night thinking (which is when I do some of the best thinking, and I believe I’m not alone in that), that I am always looking to the what-ifs. I’m living in the future, waiting until a certain circumstance to let myself feel peace and joy.
But my circumstances don’t determine my peace and joy, I do.
I can have peace and joy right now. No matter what’s going on. No matter if I have a whole schedule of things to do or if I have no responsibility whatsoever.
Studies show that only 10% of our happiness is determined by our circumstances. That means a whole lot of your joy is up to you. It’s something you have to choose, something you have to choose daily.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you respond to it” – Lou Holtz
So basically, it’s our decision whether or not we are going to happy with where God has placed us right at this very moment. We can’t get caught up in:
- If only I had an internship
- If only I had a boyfriend
- If only I had that pair of shoes (which is a familiar one for me)
- If only I had a successful career
- If only I had thousands of Instagram followers
It’s a never ending cycle. We can’t live a life of “if-only’s”.
Instead, we can look at the opportunities that have graciously been placed in our lives, where we are in our communities, and what we can do with what we have got.
And once we start looking at life from this attitude, an attitude of joy and thankfulness for where God has placed us, we will be completely surprised at the results.
Because friend, you can choose. You don’t have to live for the future. You can be content right now, without a career, busy schedule, fancy house, or great boyfriend.
And isn’t that freeing?