He must be lying to himself. There is no way he is actually happy.

“It’s a beautiful day and I’m just happy to be alive!”, one of my friend’s on the street proclaims again.

Everytime he says it, I ask myself, is he being honest? He is a homeless man living on the streets of Denver. Does he even know what happiness is?

As we enter into the lives of the homeless on the streets, we are greeted by every personality type. Each type unique to the other and each with a different response to their homelessness. Yet there is still a small group that is rarely rattled and who always seem to be having a good day. They somehow find things in life to be happy about, even when it would appear these things don’t exist.

While there is always something negative they could focus on, they choose the other option.

They choose to focus on the good.

I visualize this focus as a spotlight. The spotlight passes over all of the good and bad parts of my life, but I get to choose what I am going to let it illuminate.

However, even with this visual, I don’t always choose to shine light on the good in my life, all of the blessings God has bestowed upon me. It’s so much easier for me to focus on the negative. There is always something I could complain about, (legitimate or not) that I could shine a light on and dwell over.

If there is anyone in life we would never blame for focusing on the negative, it is the homeless. Yet, we encounter homeless friends every day who are happy. They are focusing their spot light on the good, choosing to find the subtle joys in their lives. They have figured it out. Where they shine their light is their choice, a choice we are all free to choose.

Now when I hear my friend say he’s just happy to be alive, I believe him.

Blake is from Hastings, NE. He served as a missionary with Christ in the City from 2015-2017 and is now on staff as the Director of College Outreach & Recruitment. He enjoys Husker football, Dr. Pepper, and long road trips.