Morning Inspiration with James Merritt Some of you have heard of Jonnie Erickson Tada. For those who haven’t, Jonnie is a quadriplegic. She dove into a shallow lake at the age of 17, broke her neck and was instantly paralyzed from the neck down. She was speaking at a conference one time and was in the women’s restroom during a break and one woman putting on lipstick said, “Oh Jonnie, you always look so together and so happy in your wheelchair. I wish I had your joy!” She thenasked, “How do you do it?” Jonnie said, “I don’t do it. May I tell you honestly how I woke up this morning? This is an average day for me. After my husband, Ken, leaves for work at 6:00am I am alone until I hear the front door open at 7 o’clock. That is when a friend arrives to get me up. While she makes coffee I pray, ‘Lord, my friend will soon give me a bath, get me dressed, set me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth and send me out the door. I don’t have the strength to face this routine one more time. I have no resources. I don’t have a smile to take into the day, but you do, so dear God may I have yours? I need your desperately.’” One lady incredulously asked, “So what happens when your friend comes into the bedroom?” Jonnie said, “I turn my head toward her and give her a smile sent straight from heaven. It is not mine. It is God’s.” She then pointed to her paralyzed legs and said, “Whatever joy you see today was hard-won this morning and I got it because I asked for it." Here is the hard truth. If you don’t want to be joyful you won’t be. If you do not choose joy you cannot be joyful. If you cannot be joyful you will not be joyful. On the other hand, if you want to be joyful you will be. If you do choose to be joyful you can be joyful and if you can be, you will be, but you’ve got to choose to be.