Weekly Devotional

Always Too Young

Reflection by Josh Fitterling

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones


While in college, as I was struggling to make a decision to switch career paths from math to ministry, I received the greatest advice one could ever hope for. My late grandmother, Marilyn Bashore, said to me, “You are too young to be miserable for the rest of your life.” These simple yet profound words have stuck with me every day since and I recall them especially when faced with a decision. When I am in the midst of discernment, I often ask myself, “which decision will lead away from misery?”

Now we may think that such a question seems absurd, believing that people will assuredly choose the path that will bring about joy and good cheer for themselves. However, I’m sure that we all know somebody or are somebody who has made a decision and did not consider our own happiness. In fact, we see it all the time in our society. Someone chooses to pursue a law degree to appease their parents while they long to find their joy in the arts. Someone else sets the priority of worldly riches above the richness of an uplifted spirit. Another person complies with social norms of dress and expression and forsakes the joy of truly expressing themselves while still another hides who they are and finds that their spirit is withering within.

Oftentimes, we find ourselves looking for the path that will be our good medicine. Some people look toward a career, but if it doesn’t bring about a cheerful heart, bones dry up. Some look toward social acceptance or money but if it doesn’t bring about a cheerful heart, bones dry up. However, when we find what gives us joy, produces a cheerful heart, and lifts our spirit, we thrive! We thrive even through the difficulties that life may bring because we have found happiness within.

A cheerful heart truly is good medicine. So no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you will ALWAYS too young to be miserable for the rest of your life. 

Prayer: God of Wisdom, guide us into cheerful hearts and uplifted spirits so that we may truly thrive. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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