Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

November 2014

Choosing Happiness
 
Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Col 3:16a
 
 
The leaves are crunching and pumpkin flavored food and drink abounds, signaling to us the season of thanks-giving. Gratitude isn’t governed by law and it isn’t one of those top ten scriptural commandments. Yet gratitude plays a highly significant role in who we are in the world and for the world.
 
A few months ago I read a great tongue-in-cheek article entitled The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People—it was a take-off of popular books such as The 10 Habits of Highly Successful People. The writer did a wonderful job of pointing out that happiness or overall contentment—especially in our time and place is a choice. We choose to be content or to be discontent. Here are some of the things this article said we can do if we desire misery over contentment: Be very fearful-- especially of economic disaster; blame others; be highly critical; spend a lot of time thinking about yourself—your worries and concerns; live in the past; avoid gratitude.
 
And if we think about it, have you ever met a truly grateful person who is miserable? And perhaps the reverse is true—have you ever met a critical, blaming, self-centered person who is happy? While God doesn’t require our gratitude in order to be God, the truth is we NEED to give thanks to God—to be grateful for life abundant and grace. Our spirits of gratitude lead to openness, generosity and a greater ability to be a functioning and contributing member of a family…a church…a community.
 
A favorite quote appears in a frame in our fellowship hall: What would this church be if every member were just like me? We can trade out the word church for —family, school, world, etc. It is something to consider., isn’t it?
 
If we have the ability choose happiness or misery, my guess is we all want happiness. Let’s fully embrace gratitude to our Creator and allow that to become what defines us in all of our living.
Blessings for fall and a life of thanks-giving!
 
Pastor Lou