After years and years of serving communities, keeping the faith, and struggling through everything, the last thing I want to be is bitter, grumpy, sad, narrow-minded and hateful. I want to be happy, hopeful, gracious and loving. I don’t want to be sad so that after my life is over, people will jump to the conclusion that it was because of all my trials, my poor finances, my negative community experiences, my confrontations with other leaders, and my apparent lack of visible success. I don’t want others to conclude that I allowed all these to pull me down. I don’t want them to point to all those things and blame them for my sadness. The fault lies within me if I am not happy. If I can’t find reason to rejoice and be glad in all situations, then it is my fault and no one else’s. True, sometimes my sadness is completely justified and understandable. I am entitled to be sad. But I don’t want to just settle for that. I want my privileges too, my rights! And I have every right to be happy too. Sure, sadness, like a deep current, courses through my life. But the river itself is joy. That’s what I want to live by and be remembered for.