Abraham Lincoln once said that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I completely agree.
I’m an extremely happy person. It can actually be pretty annoying at times, I admit. Last week I got told at a youth group I go to by one of the newer leaders that he didn’t know what I looked like when I wasn’t smiling or laughing.
I’ve had an easy life, though, too. I haven’t had to face sudden death of a friend, divorce, times where money is short, or any of that kind of stuff. So to many people it seems that it’s easy to be happy if you’re in my situation.
But the funny thing is that I don’t see a lot of my friends who come from extremely bad situations moping about their lives. I see people whose biggest problem is that their parents don’t let them go to parties with their sketchy boyfriend depressed about their lives.
I still don’t really understand why teenagers are so dramatic. Although I have to admit that I can be. Yes, I cry over stupid things. Yes, I have to control my whirlwind emotions at times. But I’ve always been able to control them. Unless they’re about grades. But I see people living their lives hating their parents (who are very nice people—most of them I absolutely love) and making up their minds to be as miserable as possible all the time.
And then I see some of my friends who have faced more than enough trouble for anyone, and they’re smiling and they’re praising God for what he’s done in their lives. They’re making friends, they’re talking about how much they appreciate their friends and family, and they focus on all the good in their lives.
I’m naturally bubbly, as I’ve mentioned, but I have had purpose for being sour towards life. My brother died when I was about 1 ½ years old when he was only 29 days old. I’ve had a close friend be diagnosed with AIDs. I’ve been told by people that I’m ugly (long time ago, almost over it don’t worry) and for a long time I believed them. I’ve seen a beautiful 6-year-old girl die of a brain tumour. But you know what? No matter how terrible these things are, God is sovereign. There is reason to be joyful, because we know that God has it under control.
I don’t mean that you have to always be smiling. I don’t mean that you have to always feel like laughing–and I definitely don’t mean that you need to forget the bad things in your life. How could I ever forget about Christopher (my brother) or the little girl I knew before she died? It’s impossible. But God calls us to be joyful–and we can be with his healing power.
You have the ability to love your life or hate it. It’s up to you, and no one else can make that decision for you. But let me tell you—if your problem is with your parents, you’re likely in the wrong. They know what they’re doing—they’re older than you, they have experience, and they’re wiser. Yes, they can be annoying. Yes, they can make mistakes. Yes, they are embarrassing. But no, they do not hate you, and no, they are not trying to ruin your life. I’m not trying to belittle anyone’s suffering, anyone’s problems, anything. But the truth is, we as teenagers can blow situations out of proportion so easily.
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” How happy are you deciding to be? Are you deciding to focus on the good, and on God? Or are you going to focus on the parts of your life that you hate?
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