What makes you smile? Chocolate, a great sale, a good book to read, lunch with friends, an all-inclusive vacation, climbing a mountain, learning something new…?
Whatever it may be, and it’s different for all of us, it’s important to remember something about happiness. It’s fickle! Happiness is an emotion that changes as quickly as departure gates at the airport. It flits around like a butterfly that comes and goes depending on our circumstances, feelings and even what we ate for dinner last night.
Happiness is a byproduct of the more deeply rooted hope and joy we have in our lives. The definition of hope is the joyful anticipation that something good is going to happen and joy, as defined by Kay Warren in her book, Choose Joy Because Happiness Is Not Enough is, “a settled assurance…a quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right.”
Hope and joy are mindsets, choices we make that affect how we respond to the events that rock our world, rob us of our happiness and leave us feeling like we want to say, Excuse Me, I Didn’t Order This © They are what enable us to bounce-back after an event that could have easily broken us and are so much more than a happy feeling that can be put on, taken off—or blown off like a hat.
So, where do we get this lasting assurance, this enduring joy with its wonderful byproduct of happiness? The answer is not difficult or complicated. It is by choosing to believe in and accepting God’s grace provided for us in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, and then trusting Him in every area of our lives. Psalm 31:15 says it this way: “Hour by hour I place my days in your hand.” The Message
“Do More of What Makes You Happy,” is a framed sentiment I have hanging on a wall in my home and lately I’ve been giving some serious thought to those words. What really, specifically, makes me happy? I came up with four things and wrote them down:
- Uninterrupted time spent in prayer, meditation and the study of God’s word.
- Having time to be completely present with the people I love.
- Completing work I deem important.
- Taking time to take care of me.
Now, it’s your turn. Take a moment to jot down at least two simple things that make you feel happy. Then think more deeply and determine the root of joy from which that happiness springs. Maybe the sports, physical activities and times of personal pampering you enjoy are rooted in the self-worth and assurance of knowing who you are and Whose you are. Perhaps the happiness you feel with your family, friends and the work you do comes from the joy of fulfilling the unique purpose for which you alone were created. If so, be thankful for that and “Do More of What Makes You Happy.”
Can’t find anything to be happy about? Here’s something you can do to begin changing that. Stay in the scriptures. Each of us has the privilege and freedom of choosing to pray and read the unchanging Word of God and start every day a little happier.
Excuse Me, I Didn’t Order This ©
A Keynote Speech with breakout sessions by Penny L. Hunt
Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn’t Enough by Kay Warren