I'm on a new little streak, here. Humor me. It's called happiness. It's why I've chosen this new song- Jose Happy- (scroll down a bit to activate it) to play here as you read this. It reminds me of my year spent in Spain, over 20 years ago, a time when I was tossed about in my emotions, my perspective, my sense of who I was. Being happy wasn't my pursuit then. I wanted something way more than that. I wanted to know the way out of confusion and darkness. I wanted a miracle to settle the turbulence within me.
But today, I'll settle for being happy, as trite as that sounds. It's a beautiful fall day. My daughter and I just purchased two cans of pumpkin, planning to make pumpkin-chocolate chip cake. And we bought a bag of honey crisp apples. She bit into one, handed it to me, and I took a bite. "It does taste like honey," I said in amazement. Apples advertised correctly. What a novelty. Such happiness.
But happiness is relevant. It depends on whether you catch yourself in the moment, smiling, relaxed, noticing the fall colors, or humming along to a song. It's not a monumental life changing emotion. For some, it's a controversial emotion. Many Christians even fear it. After all, it sounds shallow, wanting to be "happy". Many of us have been trained to be stoic and long suffering. Some of us have had to major in endurance and perseverance. For some, happiness is an insult- when you're going through a tragedy and grief is a blanket around your shoulders. I understand that.
But when happiness truly touches you on the shoulder, I think we should just welcome it, accept it. Not broadcast it in the face of someone who is suffering, but not deny it when we're near those who despise the sound of the word- for no reason they're aware of.
I dare to be happy. Trust me, it's not that hard to be happy, but it seems hard to let other people know you are.
When you're happy and smiling, the world wants to know a couple things: Why are you happy? and Do you deserve to be happy?
Well, of course I don't deserve it. Anymore than I deserve to see the sun rise or to experience unending grace all the days of my life because of a Savior who loves me. Of course I don't deserve it. And that's exactly why I am happy, today, in this moment. Cause I've had a glimpse of powerful grace in a calm day of simple pleasures.
That's all. And that's more than enough.
"Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you." Psalm 128:1,2