Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”
Our Bible verse for today: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song.” Psalm 28:7 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Choose Joy”
We are each responsible for our own lives. When it comes to living successfully regardless of circumstances, personal responsibility is key. You must accept personal responsibility for your own life. One of my favorite books regarding the importance of personal responsibility is “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. It is fiction that teaches profound truth. I’ve mentioned this book in other devotional series but I come back to it now because when it comes to learning to continue dancing in life despite tough circumstances, a strong sense of personal responsibility is immensely important.
Of all the things you are personally responsible for your attitude is probably the most important. And make no mistake about it – you are responsible for your attitude. You might not have control over your circumstances but you do have control over your response to your circumstances.
In “The Traveler’s Gift” the main character is a man by the name of David Ponder. His life is a train wreck and he is very depressed about it. Perhaps in a dream, perhaps in reality, God takes David on a trip back through time to have short encounters with prominent figures from history including Solomon, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and others. At each stop along the way the historical person teaches David an important lesson in personal responsibility. In each case he leaves the encounter with a take-away phrase and a statement of positive affirmation that he can carry with him through life.
At one stop in time David encounters the young Jewish girl Anne Frank. At this point Anne and her family have been in seclusion, in an attic, hiding from the Nazis for several years. It was an extremely restricted and difficult way to live. But Anne was a bright perky girl who was upbeat, positive, and happy – despite her circumstances. The lesson David learned from her was that you have to choose to be happy. David’s take-away statement was “I choose to be happy.” And here’s a paraphrase of the positive affirmation that he learned from his encounter with Anne Frank:
“I choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. I can choose to think thoughts and engage in activities that bring me joy. I choose to be happy. I also choose to be grateful and I choose not to complain. I smile at people. People are drawn to me because I have joy in my heart, a smile on my face, and laughter in my voice. Life itself is a privilege and a gift. I choose to live it with joy and to the fullest. I do not deny the reality of my situation but I do deny the finality of it. This too shall pass. I choose to be happy.”
You are personally responsible for your own life, and you are especially responsible for your attitude. If you’re going to keep dancing despite tough circumstances, you might as well be happy while you’re doing it. I encourage you to choose joy.