Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It

I was listening to Dennis Prager's Happiness Hour on the radio the other day.  (Wouldn't he have the perfect voice for a psychiatrist?  Calming, friendly, thoughtful.)  He was asking if people looked back on their lives and thought of a particular time period as the "good old days."  Then he asked if people knew at the time that they were happy, or if they could only see the happiness in retrospect.  Most people, he said, are not aware that their present time is good and happy.

When Bryan and I had three or four little people, an older person told us, "These are the best days of your life.  You just don't know it."  Bryan told him, "Yes, we do.  We know these are good times."

It gives me great comfort now to know that we DID know how happy we were.  We valued the times, even the challenging times, because we said that at least we had each other.  Bryan said of people who complained about life- particularly about their spouses- "They just don't appreciate what they've got.  They should think about how short life is."

Now, I don't really think his perspective was prophetic.  Bryan had lost many loved ones, and that changed his thinking.  I'm thankful, given the short time we had together as a family, for the attitude of joy and gratitude that defined our thinking.

Life is short.  And in the grand scheme of things, so few things really matter.  Happiness is a mindset.  And when you think about it, it's usually the little things frustrations that keep people from seeing the happy moments of their lives.  If we complain about each other, if we complain about our circumstances, we'll miss out.  And we'll be the people who are living in the best days of their lives and don't know it.

How many times have we spent hours or days worrying about something that didn't happen?  Or perhaps, the dreaded event did happen, but in retrospect, it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.  Sometimes, our happiness is robbed by skewed thinking.  Well, we think, our present time might be okay, but if we had (fill in the blank) THEN we'd be happy. 

Did you know that one of the Hebrew words translated "blessed" is also translated "happy"?  We are all blessed in many ways, and we need to see those blessings as our happiness.  Ultimately, complete, unspoiled happiness will only come at the end when the Lord sets everything right.  In between, though, He gives joy in the wilderness to those who are willing to have the eyes to see it.

From 1 Peter 1: 
You are kept for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 
In this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 
You rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
recieving the end of your faith- the salvation of your souls.

1 comment:

Our Story: Continued said...

What a beautiful reminder. Thank you. Hugs and prayers, friend!