I’m sure you know people who always seem to be upbeat all the time. They seem to enjoy life to its fullest. Their circumstances are far from ideal, but they choose to be happy anyway. The older I get, the more I’m learning to be content and even happy with even the small things of life. When I wake up each morning, I look forward to the glorious opportunity to fellowship with my Heavenly Father over a steaming cup of coffee before getting ready for work. I used to think, “Oh no, only twenty minutes before I have to get ready!” Now I just savor every moment as I prepare for my day. I used to dread having to mow my rather sizable lawn. But now I actually enjoy the time on my lawn tractor, usually in the cool of the evening. It is an excellent opportunity to pray. Do you get the point? I didn’t change my activities, just my attitude. And it made all the difference in the world.

I read an illustration about some mischievous young boys who decided to smear stinky Limburger cheese in their grandfather’s mustache while he was sleeping. As he awakened he said, “Something in here stinks.” So he went into another room and soon repeated, “Something in here stinks, too.” Then he went out onto the front porch, sniffed and proclaimed, “The whole world stinks!” Sometimes when we think the whole world stinks, it’s just the stinking attitude that we are carrying along with us. In the same way, a good attitude can be like a lovely fragrance that lingers in the air even after we have passed through.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not something you decide one time and your attitude is forever changed. It is a choice you make each new day and maybe even several times a day. Sometimes you have to do it with dogged determination. Sometimes it comes naturally. Where do you think the saying came from…“Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” In other words, sometimes we just wake up needing an attitude adjustment! How do you think I know these things? Because I deal with them everyday, just like you. Our attitude is the ONE THING that we have absolute control over.

Rather than a pity party, wouldn’t you rather life be a continual feast? I know you’ve heard it said, “Your attitude determines you altitude.” If you want to be high on life, give yourself an attitude adjustment!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us
in triumphal procession in Christ
and through us spreads everywhere
the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
II Corinthians 2:14 NIV




The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He [God] delights in his way.
Psalm 37:23

I have been thinking lately about how the Lord plans our lives and our steps. He says so right here in His Word. Listen to how The Message Bible says it, “Stalwart [man] walks in step with God; his path blazed by God, he’s happy. If he stumbles, he’s not down for long; God has a grip on his hand.” How totally awesome is that! Webster’s defines the word stalwart as “marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind or spirit.” So, do the plans God has for us manifest in spite of our own response? Think about this …can two people accomplish a common goal if they are walking in opposite directions? No, it’s impossible. Suppose someone very reliable says to you, “Walk with me to the bank and I’ll make a withdrawal and give you a large sum of money?” How foolish it would be for you to turn and walk in the other direction. And yet, how many times do we as Christians willfully plan our own way without even consulting our Heavenly Father? And how many heartaches and setbacks has it caused us in our quest for happiness?

How wonderful it would be if we could consistently walk in step with Him by following the leading of the Holy Spirit. And how can we accomplish that? You cannot recognize a person’s voice unless you have spent time with him, listening to him, memorizing his inflections and intonations. So it is with hearing the voice of God and following His leading. As we spend time with Him, learning to hear His voice and walk in cadence with His steps, our path to happiness and fulfillment is blazed before us. He takes the sword of His Word and cuts a path through the jungle of worry, fear and unrest that try to block us from the path of success that He has specifically laid out for us.

As for myself, I know one thing, or should I say two things, that have caused me to break cadence and stray into enemy territory. They are the culprits of impatience and self-will. “God, it is taking you entirely too long. I’ll just handle this one myself.” We wouldn’t dare say those words, but how many times have we thoughtlessly acted them out? I have many a battle scar incurred along this pathway of disobedience. But thank God for His mercy and grace. We can find our way back onto His pathway of peace at any time by repentance…simply changing our mind and falling into step with Him once again. If we really believe that God has planned our way, there will be no place in our lives for worry or trepidation. As we rest in Him, we know that whatever comes our way has to come through His hand and He will either lead us out or lead us through.

“Holy Father, as I walk in step with You;
I thank you that my path is blazed by You and I’m happy.
If I stumble, I’m not down for long;
For You, Father, have a grip on my hand.”