Regardless of whatever else we may be looking for in life, we all have one aspiration in common: we all want to be happy.
Happiness is different things to different people, of course, but some seem to think that it is as simple as having a good time. As children, we all do that. We think that happiness means doing as we please, having lots of fun and not much work. Eventually, after getting into plenty of mischief and suffering many stomachaches, most of us learn that happiness does not come from grabbing everything we want—that happiness is not the product of idleness and chocolate creams.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
—Jesus, Matthew 11:28–30
Every morning I wake up and board an express train leaving from fast track station. As I speed along life’s rails, I stare out the window and think. Where has the time gone? How did my children manage to grow up so quickly? Now it’s happening with my grandchildren. I catch my reflection in the window and wonder where all that gray hair came from. It seems like only yesterday…
Have you ever thought about the choice Moses had to make when he forsook Egypt? That choice is what made Moses great. Solomon is known for his wisdom, Daniel for his vision, David for his psalms, and Peter for his zeal, but Moses was great because of the choice he made.
We read in Hebrews chapter 11 that Moses is included among the heroes of faith in God’s hall of fame. “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”1
No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?
—Lee Iacocca (b. 1924), American businessman and author
If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
—Albert Camus (1913–1960), French author and philosopher
Life is made up of choices, ranging from mundane to mind-boggling. What should I wear today? What do I want for breakfast? What career should I pursue? Should I marry this person? Big and small, our choices work together to order our days, define who we are, and largely determine our levels of happiness and fulfillment.
Ironically, it’s the little choices that often get more than their share of our time and attention, while the most fundamental choices, the ones that matter most and could make the biggest difference in the long term, get overlooked or put off. What do I want out of life? What kind of person do I want to be?
When I am not wearing my glasses, everything a few feet away strains my vision, and anything past that is a blur. I have been wearing glasses for about 20 years, but sometimes there are situations where I can’t or won’t wear them. When that happens, I invariably miss most of what is going on around me.
Once my husband Mike and I were leaving a hairdressing salon when, out of the blue it seemed, Mike started talking about a friend of ours. She had, in fact, been in the salon the entire time, but my range of focus had been so limited that I hadn’t even seen her.