I’ll never forget the time years ago when my younger sister was crying on the couch. She was about five years old at the time, and she looked so sad. I asked her what was wrong, and she answered: “I’m just trying to have a good life.” It sounds like a humorous response – so much so that my family has used that phrase as a joke ever since. But there’s a lot of truth in that phrase that I think we can all relate to.
Aren’t we all just “trying to have a good life?” Aren’t we all just trying to be happy? This “goal” of being happy motivates a lot of the choices we make in our lives, whether it be the food we eat, the job we work at, the career goals we have, the friends we hang out with, etc. What will make us the most happy?
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.”
-St. Gianna Molla
How often do we spend our lives thinking about the past or the future? We have anxiety over the embarrassing things that we said four years ago (that nobody else remembers), and we worry about what will happen in the future. How can we possibly be happy when we are thinking about that all the time?
The secret is to live moment by moment. Be in the moment. What is happening around me right now? Who are the people that I am with right now? Maybe that means putting down your phone when you’re with your friends or family to give them your full attention. Maybe it means trusting that God is in control, so you don’t have to worry so much about the future. Live moment by moment. Take it day by day. Seriously, this works!
The second part to this is thanking God for what He gives day after day. Our culture tells us that we need all these material things in order to be happy. But what provides true, lasting joy is gratitude to God for what he sends to us. It’s about paying attention to the graces and gifts that he provides every day. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been in a tangled mess and it just works itself out? Thank you, God!
Thank you, God, for waking me up this morning! Thank you, God, for allowing me to have clean water and food today. Thank you, God, for the people in my life I got to see today. It’s about recognizing everything that we already have in our lives. It’s about thanking God for His extraordinary gifts that we don’t even notice!
Live moment by moment and thank God for all that he sends day after day – that’s the secret of happiness.