My wife and I recently had the privilege of finding ourselves with a little extra time on our hands. As if that were not surprise enough, we were alone. Rather than head straight home, we decided to take a turn and chase a sunset at the local lake.

If we timed it just right, the sun would be setting on the horizon about the time we arrived. As we parked the car, the sun was passing through a series of bountiful clouds. The display of color was magnificent. The reflection of the sky on the tranquil water was a double portion of delight, especially since few days are without wind in Oklahoma. Calm waters and a golden sunset bring the perfect farewell to almost any day. We were in awe.

Just as the bottom of the sun touched the distant shore we noticed an elderly man making his way toward the water. He moved slow and deliberate with his gaze fixed on the magnificent ball of wonder dancing with clouds.

It was clear this had become a daily ritual for him. No doubt, his goal was to take in the close of every day with his face to the sun, his eyes toward Heaven and his heart captured by the moment.

As we watched the sun smoothly sink into the skyline, we observed the older gentleman making his way back to drier ground. He walked a few steps, turned and took another glance. When it came to watching the fading image in the sky, once was not enough as he repeated his approach several times.

What must he have been thinking? Did his mind drift to times gone by when he shared such moments with the love of his life? Were sweet memories flooding his mind as he reflected on holding hands and walking the shoreline with his true love?

Perhaps he wondered if this would be his last opportunity to stand amazed at this daily gift from God, available to anyone who might pause long enough to lift their eyes to the western sky and wonder.

It seemed to us that if the elderly man had learned anything in life, it was that happiness was found in the little things God makes available for free. Sunsets, sunrises, smiles, hugs, kind words, a gentle breeze, a tall glass of cool water on a hot summer day, these are just a few of the little things that bring a lot of happiness in a big way along life’s journey.

We were reminded that the key to happiness is to capture such times, savor them and hold on to them just long enough to remember from Whom they come. When we do, we are reminded how much He loves us, cares for us and desires to walk along the shores of life with us as we take in rays of sunshine created to bring us closer to Him one day at a time. Ahhh…happiness.