Home People Secrets to a happy life – The North State Journal

Secrets to a happy life – The North State Journal


PHOTO CAPTION: “The Andes of Ecuador” is a painting by Frederic Edwin Church, a central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters. This painting is in the collection of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem. (Public Domain).

“As your days — so shall your strength be!” Deuteronomy 33:25 

One of the secrets of happy and beautiful life, is to live one day at a time. Really, we never have anything to do any day — but the bit of God’s will for that day. If we do that well — we have absolutely nothing else to do. 

 Time is given to us in days. It was so from the beginning. This breaking up of time into little daily portions means a great deal more than we are accustomed to think. For one thing, it illustrates the gentleness and goodness of God. It would have made life intolerably burdensome if a year, instead of a day — had been the unit of division. It would have been hard to carry a heavy load, to endure a great sorrow, or to keep on at a hard duty — for such a long stretch of time. How dreary our common task-work would be — if there were no breaks in it, if we had to keep our hand to the plough for a whole year! We never could go on with our struggles, our battles, our suffering — if night did not mercifully settle down with its darkness, and bid us rest and renew our strength. 

We do not understand how great a mercy there is for us in the briefness of our short days. If they were even twice as long as they are — life would be intolerable! Many a time when the sun goes down — we feel that we could scarcely have gone another step. We would have fainted in defeat — if the summons to rest had not come just when it did. 

We see the graciousness of the divine thoughtfulness in giving us time in periods of little days, which we can easily get through with — and not in great years, in which we would faint and fall by the way. It makes it possible for us to go on through all the long years and not to be overwrought, for we never have given to us at any one time — more than we can do between the morning and the evening. 

If we learn well the lesson of living just one day at a time, without anxiety for either yesterday or tomorrow, we shall have found one of the great secrets of Christian peace. That is the way God teaches us to live. That is the lesson both of the Bible and of nature. If we learn it, it will cure us of all anxiety; it will save us from all feverish haste; it will enable us to live sweetly in any experience. 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 

J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.  

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