|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Laugh Again”
Our Bible verse for today: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Remember the 80/20 rule”
An important key to having a light-hearted and joyful demeanor (the kind of outlook that allows you to laugh easily and frequently), is learning to appreciate what you have.
On numerous occasions I have made mission trips to various areas of the Amazon Jungle in Peru, sometimes spending a week visiting with missionary friends who run the El Arca Children’s Home (www.elarcafam.org). The home sits on 110 acres of land in a remote area on the edge of the Rainforest. It is primitive and the living is hard. They only have power a few hours a day when they run the generator. They have indoor plumbing, but only in some of the buildings. They raise cattle and poultry, and they grow a lot of their own food. It is hot and there are lots of bugs, snakes, and wild animals. I always enjoy my time there, but after a week I’m usually ready to come home.
Over the course of the last forty-eight years, first in the Navy and then as a short-term missionary, I’ve traveled to thirty-four countries – the majority of them very poor countries, and I can tell you that most of the rest of the world is not like the USA. Most of the rest of the world is like that situation in the Amazon Jungle, or worse.
Therefore, every time I return home I do so with a new appreciation for how much God has blessed me. I may only have a simple middle-class lifestyle (by the standards of the USA), but I am blessed beyond measure compared to people in most of the rest of the world. I have a comfortable home; I have plenty of food; I have a good income; I have access to good healthcare; I have a loving family and good friends; I live in one of the most beautiful locations in the country; and on and on the list goes. Shame on me if I could have all of this but still not be happy and satisfied!
One of the biggest reasons people are downcast instead of upbeat, complaining instead of thankful, and frowning instead of laughing, is because their thoughts are focused on what they don’t have rather than on what they do have. In Psalm 16:6 King David was reflecting on the contours of his life and he was giving thanks to God for his blessings. The boundary lines of his life had fallen in pleasant places and he had much to be grateful for. I’ll bet the same is true for you. If you think about it you will have to admit that you are blessed in more ways than you have time to count this morning.
Today’s devotional isn’t funny like the others have been. But in order to have a sunny and upbeat disposition, and to be a lighthearted person who can laugh easily and frequently, we need to be people who recognize and appreciate just how blessed we are. There’s an 80/20 rule that can be applied to most people’s lives. It maintains that 80% of the things in our lives are good, and only 20% (or less) are in some way negative. Yet many people focus on the 20% that is negative rather than the 80% that is good.
I encourage you to spend some time today considering how blessed you are. Enjoy the warm sense of being watched over and provided for by a Father in Heaven who loves you very much and who blesses you beyond measure.
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