Continual Joy

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate - that's my philosophy. Thornton Wilder

When I look back on the various stages of my life, I realize that my happiest times have been those that I simply enjoyed the moment I was in. I also see that the times of greatest stress were those times when I thought along the lines of, "Sure, this is good now, but it could get bad in a hurry".

This is when Mr. Wilder's advice comes in so handy. Why, while in the process of sampling a tasty cone, must we even think about the fact that it will soon be gone? Isn't it far better to enjoy the process, rather than to fear the inevitable outcome. It's true that the fleeting pleasures of life will by definition come to an end, but why not just go ahead and enjoy them while they last?

At no time, I suppose, has this been as true as during this past year. With droughts on the front burner and financial crises on the back, it just seems that the entire year has been consumed with thoughts like, "Today is okay, but if it doesn't rain soon, we will be in real trouble" or "It's true that I have a job and can pay my bills now, but what if the recession spreads to this region, or I become sick and can't work, or something bad happens to one of my loved ones, or..."

The fact is that bad things do happen. It's also true that we cannot go through life with blinders on, and that we must be ready to act in times of unexpected hardship. But truer, still, is that God is in Heaven and He is in control.

So, if He has blessed you this year - enjoy it! You don't have to feel guilty, nor do you have to fear that He will somehow take His eyes off of you and let something happen that you cannot handle. Bad things do occasionally happen but, more often, good things happen. And we are blessed! 

So go ahead and enjoy that ice cream before it melts. It's not wrong, nor is it failing to be a realist. It's called gratitude and a joyful person will, with a heart filled with thanksgiving, enjoy every minute of this beautiful life that God has blessed him with. Bad things can and will happen to us all, but we are going to Heaven someday. So... enjoy the ride and don't forget to be grateful along the way! 

Be joyful always. I Thessalonians 5:16, NIV