There’s a lot of unhappy in this world. So, choosing happiness in the midst of crisis and chaos might seem like a crazy idea.
One thing that makes me happy is creating time and space for enjoying simple pleasures. Today, I was out with a couple friends enjoying coffee and conversation over our art journals. As we walked back to our cars, one friend thanked me for being an example to her. She said that I showed her that it was possible to be happy without feeling guilty. Her gracious words took me by surprise, but I knew exactly what she meant. Over the years in my personal life, and especially in the light of so much turmoil and tragedy in our culture, I have felt guilty for being happy. Why do I get to be happy, when so many other people are constantly hurting? It doesn’t seem fair, right? I could minimize my happiness, and down play it’s importance. But that doesn’t seem right either.
We could argue the difference between joy and happiness, but that would be kind of crazy. Both joy and happiness are nuances of this life. And while circumstances are not always happy, and while hardly anyone gets a happy, fairy-tale ending, we can choose to be happy.
Creating pleasant moments in a fractured, fast-paced life is truly a crazy idea. But cherishing those times offers a healthy diversion from the heavy responsibility that accompanies daily life. We were made to enjoy this life. We were designed to be occupied with gladness, to embrace a holistic approach to living and relating with one another.
Life is replete with blessings and brokenness mingled together. To choose happiness when it’s available makes sense to me. I don’t have to feel guilty about it.
How do you feel about being happy? Does it seem relevant or not? How do you measure happiness in your life? What makes you happy?
They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart. (Ecclesiastes 5:20 NIV)