Choose joy.

There’s a lot of bad stuff happening right now. I won’t get into the details as the details seem to be penetrating everyone’s lives these days. I have been forced to dwell on circumstances lately, and that’s a dangerous and silly place to be.

My father died of Lou Gehrig’s disease a long time ago. A few weeks before he died, I woke up one morning to a note taped to the outside of my bedroom door. My dad wrote it some time in the middle of the night… said he was just thinking about me and how hard it must be to be an eighth-grader.

Father was right-handed. He made mention to me on several occasions – while we were playing ball or throwing rocks into a lake – that he’d always wished he was ambidextrous. He said most great athletes “could go both ways.” Father was not ambidextrous, but as it turned out, he got to write the note with his left hand. It had been several weeks since the last twitch took his good arm from him.

Here’s what the note said:

You are going to have a great day. It’s yours, and you can make it anything you want it to be. If the weather calls for rain, decide now that you will enjoy getting wet. If the test score is low, make up your mind that ‘it can only get better from here.’ If punished unfairly for something, just smile for the many things you’ve not been caught for… Attitude is everything. Today is not yet anything. Fill it with laughter. Dad.

I’m trying to remember that. Trying to choose joy over circumstance. Trying to truly believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that the only thing we’re supposed to do every day… no matter what… is choose joy.



  1. Will you please add the “Follow this blog” feature? I can’t be counted on to check into this site every day. And every day that I forget is a day I miss something far too important. Please for the love of God and all that is good. Let us follow your blog.


  2. Your dad sounds like a great man. A year or so ago I would have read something like your dad’s note and thought it was delusional or naive. I read it now and think he was probably a very wise man who went through Hell and came out the other side smiling…

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