Are You Finding Happiness?
OK, it is time for a check-in. As I am writing this blog (which is two days late because I have apparently lost all sense of time) we have been in social isolation for six weeks. Six loooooooong weeks, with no clear end in sight. In this unprecedented time we are currently living, we are probably feeling all sorts of emotions: anxiety about the future, stress over the loss of a job and income, sadness and anger about missing out on special events like graduation and parties.
But what about happiness? Is there room for happiness at a time like this, when so much is uncertain and unknown? I hope so! Even in the midst of struggle and weariness, happiness still exists. We’ve seen examples of this over the last few weeks: neighbors helping neighbors (at a socially-appropriate distance), children drawing rainbows, teddy bears, Easter eggs to decorate their homes and spread joy throughout their neighborhoods, and people buying meals for first responders as they work to keep us safe are just a few examples of how people still find happiness in the midst of this pandemic. And did you notice something about each of these? Happiness is found when we love and care for others. In other words when we do things for others it makes us happy. We are called to love our neighbors. We are to live generously for others. 1 John 3:17-18 tells us, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
As I was scrolling through Facebook this week, I came across this post from an unknown author. I saved the post, as I thought it would make a great Sunday school lesson, but I want to share it here too.
A teacher brought balloons to school and asked all the students to blow them up and write their name on their balloon. The students then tossed all the balloons into the hallway, and the teacher mixed them up from one end of the hallway to the other.
It was an enormous pile of balloons! The teacher then gave the students five minutes to find their balloon. The students ran around frantically searching for their balloon,
but as the time ran out, nobody had found their own balloon. Then the teacher told them to take the balloon closest to them and give it to the person whose name was on it. In less than 2 minutes everyone had their own balloon. The teacher said, “these balloons are like happiness. No one will find it looking for theirs only. Instead, if everyone cares about each other’s, they will find theirs as quickly as possible.”
Whether we are at a safe social distance, or gathered together as a community, may we all find happiness in each day. We usually don’t have to look too far to find it.