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American award-winning and inspirational author Rachel Ann Nunes said, “Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” I totally agree with Rachel’s inspiring views on the enjoyments of life. Likewise, I believe the old saying that a “joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” There are no truer statements about how to enjoy life. God created us to have a joyful life. We experience this joy through nature’s beauty, blossoming of flowers, joy of music, and laughter with family and friends.

Another key ingredient to enjoyment of life intended is embodied in one of my favorite bible scriptures. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” These words tell us that the enjoyment of life comes through the knowledge of a greater peace we find by having faith in God to see us through days of darkness and despair.

In our lifetime, we will experience let-downs, uncertainties and horrible events that can take the enjoyment out of life. The loss of a loved one or close friend is a spirit crusher. Divorce, cancer and separation are other spirit crushing events.  The analogy that a joyful heart is the cure for a crushed spirit is good news for anyone who is suffering from a broken heart.

As Rachel Nunes suggests, we should strive to:

  • Do what makes you happy. Each day find something that you enjoy doing and do it without reservation.
  • Be with who makes you smile. Make sure that you have people in your life that make you smile and laugh a lot. Laughter is good for the soul and can relieve the pains experienced in life.
  • Love as long as you live. Hating hurts no one but the hater. So, love like there is no tomorrow but live like there will be tomorrow.  

Don’t allow the things you can’t have, don’t have or shouldn’t have, to spoil your enjoyment of the things you do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget that one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.

Finally, remember the witty words of funny woman Joan Rivers: “I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive.” Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten