Sometimes Scripture is so clear and plain that we disregard it and forget all about what it’s telling us about how to live. The above is the beginning of verse 24 of the 118th Psalm:
“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” It is packed with meaning which applies to how we actually spend our hours. For one thing, the final sentence makes abundantly clear that the choice of how we spend our time is completely ours. “Rejoicing and being glad” is a choice? Indeed, this verse is compellingly clear. Whether we go around with faces “long enough to eat oats out of a barrel”, a quote from about a hundred years ago, or note carefully and thankfully food to eat, families, friends, jobs, sunshine, countless blessings through day after day—or concentrate on unpaid bills, grumpy family members, rain/cold, etc. There is always an abundance of imperfect happenings in everyone’s life. It’s the nature of living on the planet. But it really is our choice as to how we deal with what happens day after day. One needs to deal with every problem with all the good common sense he has, and with kindness, gratitude and thoughtfulness. Stomping feet, ranting and raving have as yet to accomplish much of anything except hard feelings and unhappiness.
And that doesn’t apply just to personal happenings in our lives. It also governs how we respond to world or local situations. For instance, one can scan the newspaper headlines or TV and find enough to worry about for years. But ponder, what would that accomplish? If there is, indeed, some action that would mollify the situation, then by all means hop to it. If not, spend your thoughts and ideas where the return is greater, as in good humor, cheerfulness, helpfulness to those around you—and if possible, work in a smile for a stranger or two. It will brighten their day, and you can bask in the afterglow.