The other day Elder McCarthy and I were biking around Ocala, Florida, trying to find people to teach. We don’t usually bike but this day we decided that biking is what we needed to do, and I think I found the reason. However, let me just say, I’m not the best cyclist in the world.
Well, as we set out on our little adventure things were going alright. My legs weren’t burning yet, I wasn’t hungry, and we knew where we were going. We were heading to go do some work on the computer when we realized that we didn’t have the key to the Family History Center in the church. We decided to wait for a little bit and hope that someone would get there. Luckily they did. As we were leaving we realized our second concern: we didn’t know the area (Still don’t) and we didn’t bring my GPS. That wasn’t too big of a problem because Elder McCarthy had a little map and we could kind of guess where we were going.
Four hours into our day we found ourselves lost numerous times, out of plans, and out of energy (I think that one was just me). It got to the point where Elder McCarthy, who is in much better shape than I am, was quickly going farther and farther ahead of me. At one point I remember trying my best to bike up a fairly steep hill and thinking I didn’t really have the power in me to make it to the top. I angrily said (either out loud or in my head I can’t recall), “I hate biking. This is stupid.”
After I spent a good 30 seconds pouting I remembered something that I had grown up hearing, “Happiness is a choice.” Finally, it clicked in my mind that this was completely and utterly true. Now, I realize that there are people who go through things much harder than biking up a hill that make this a very difficult choice, but regardless, it is still true. You see, no one could have come up to me and said “Hey there Elder, I rode bikes on my mission too, I know how you feel.” The answer at that time to that would have been something to the effect of, “Get out of my face!”
However, there was one man, one perfect man, who DOES know how we feel in EVERY instance. Not only does he know how we feel, he has taken that pain upon himself so that we don’t have to bear it alone. He has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Why is happiness a choice? Because Jesus Christ has made it possible. He has suffered and died for us. Not just for us but for YOU, personally, and for me. He has suffered so that You and I don’t have to suffer to the fullest degree. I have felt that power in my life, and not just when my legs were burning on a bike. I know that the cleansing and healing power of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and Atonement are very real and has been the best choice I have ever made. May we all choose to allow Christ to help us when we are all biking up our own hills. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.