The Prerequisite to Joy: Happiness Part 1

“How’s college going?”

I answered this question maybe half a dozen times over winter break, and told every single person the same thing: “Every semester has been better than the one before it.”

It’s true. And to be honest, it’s kind of a scary truth to come to terms with.

Because yeah, last semester was wonderful. In fact some days I flip through my journal and think that last semester was so wonderful, so mind-bogglingly beautiful that next semester might never hold a candle to it.

It’s the typical barbarous bartering that occurs when you let worry do the talking. Worry loves to trade happy for scared and content for not so much.

From the first day of classes to the last entry during finals week, my journal is chock-full of how blessed I feel (okay, with some bumps along the way of colds/loneliness/fear/guilt). Why I was so happy I’m not entirely sure. Maybe it was the amazing professors (but come to think of it I had two terrible ones, and two wonderful ones, and one pretty average). Maybe it was the friends, or the food, or the subject material. I’m going to say those were all further down the list than this one though, if only to fool myself into thinking this semester stands a chance.

The prerequisite to joy is an attitude of gratefulness.

Recognize that this is an amazing life to which you are privileged. God has taken unbelievable care to perfect every aspect of your situation such that it might perfect you. He has prepared for you new adventures to go on, new places to see, new people to meet, and new things to learn. He has placed you on your particular corner of the world to love those particular neighbors He’s chosen and to enjoy that particular nature He’s imagined.

There is only one appropriate response to this level of tender care, and it is not worry.

So thanks, God! And Happy Spring Semester, everyone 🙂

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