With the advent of Google, there is no excuse for ignorance because almost anything can be learned in ten steps. Just Google in Ten steps for – and fill in the blank.
Admittedly my aspirations maybe low, but I’ve learned several things using this approach and today after recalling a sweet story a friend shared with me this week-end, I Googled “Ten steps for happiness” because she is almost always happy and I wanted to know how she does it.
The general consensus from that search was that happiness is a choice and even though you may have less than happy genes, your mind can intentionally override them.
The story she shared was about a baby boy who, during WWII, was born to a mother not married to the father. The mother had the child in Italy, but when he was six months old she sent him by train to Germany to live with his grandmother.
The grandmother thought the child was making the trip in the care of a Red Cross nurse, but when she retrieved him at the station he was barely clothed and there was no nurse in sight.
She raised the little boy until his mother married an American soldier who adopted him and brought him to the United States.
They settled in a small community in rural Tennessee. When my friend met him, they were in their teens and soon fell in love. Last July they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
At an evening church service a few months before their anniversary, the congregation was asked to bring with them something they treasured.
There were many items brought and shared. My friend stood and said, “Well I did bring my treasure, but it isn’t a thing. It is this man right here.” She pointed to her husband and proceeded to tell the story of his early years.
She ended by saying, “He is my treasure and I know that when his mother put him on the train in Italy he was already on his way to me.”
In her journal Mother wrote, “God has help where we least expect it. He provides for us in ways that go beyond our narrow definition or expectations. No matter how bitter our trials or how seemingly hopeless our situation we should look for His caring touch. We may find his providence in strange places.”
In my Google search of ten steps for happiness another step often cited was optimism. A synonym for optimism is hopefulness. If you have hope you will likely be happy. My friend has intentionally put her faith in Jesus and so she has hope which helps her find His providence in strange places. That makes her happy.