Time for Happiness

For most children in school, the Christmas break seems eons away from September. After Christmas vacation, the Easter break seems like it will never arrive. For me, the worst was always after Easter. Summer vacation was tantalizingly close, yet far enough away that the waiting almost hurt.

So when did things change? When did time begin moving faster than children at the sound of an ice cream truck’s bell? I don’t remember the precise moment, but gradually—almost imperceptibly—the pages of the calendar turned with an increasing frequency that bordered on illegal.

Until I began submitting work for publication. Then it felt like time stood still. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, as I waited for responses to my submissions.

Anticipation makes us eager for the next big thing, whatever it is. Children yearn for Christmas. Pre-adolescents can’t wait to be teens. Teens crave to be adults. Those in the workforce long for retirement.

The result of all this wishing and wanting is that we end up wishing our lives away. We’re so focused on tomorrow and what tomorrow will bring, that we fail to enjoy the blessings of today.

We’re planning summer vacations and we miss the spring blossoms. We’re working for goals and miss today’s delights. Our happiness is pinned to happenings that haven’t happened yet!

This doesn’t mean we should stop planning ahead. The Bible tells us, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5) and “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

God wants us to plan ahead, but also wants us to leave room in our plans for Him. Proverbs also says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” and “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (16:3, 9).

I intend to continue setting goals and planning for tomorrow. I also intend to leave room for God to show up in my todays as well as in my tomorrows. As I do, I have a feeling the passage of time won’t seem quite so fast. My happiness quotient may not increase, but my joy, based on trusting Jesus Christ for the results, will skyrocket.

How quickly is time passing for you?

Ava Pennington

After a 20-year corporate career, Ava Pennington is thoroughly enjoying her second career as an author, teacher, and speaker. Her book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is published by Revell Books and endorsed by Kay Arthur, founder of Precepts Ministries. Ava has also written for numerous magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse. Her work has been published in 30+ anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ava also teaches a weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. When she’s not writing and teaching, Ava enjoys playing with her mischievous 5-year-old Boxers, Duke & Daisy. For more information, visit www.AvaWrites.com.

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