Ecclesiastes 3:12 “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”
Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry. Maybe you’ve seen that slogan. My daughter has a print of it hanging in her house. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply choose to be happy each day? What if we could bring that happiness into a very sad world? What if God intends for us to do just that?
Happy people are contagious people. Who isn’t affected by a hearty belly laugh? Remember the laughing Chewbacca mask lady? The video of her uproarious laughter while wearing the Star Wars mask went viral on the internet. At last count, she had over 159 million views! Such responsiveness to someone enjoying a simple pleasure in life should tell us something about our natural quest for happiness.
God did not create us to be les misérables. He desires us to be happy, even when surrounded with suffering and pain. True sorrow exists in a fallen world. We can’t make it go away with plastic smiles and insensitive platitudes. But neither can we lessen it by setting up camp in deserts of despondency.
All of us experience “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). Sadness and happiness are intricately interwoven in the human experience. We ought not be afraid of either.
My personality tends toward melancholy. The idea of being happy while others suffer stirs up my guilt machine. And while I consider sensitivity to the hurting a beautiful gift from God, sympathy on steroids helps no one. If we have nothing to practically relieve another’s pain, sometimes the best medicine we can offer resides in a cheerful heart (Proverbs 17:22).
The writer of Ecclesiastes combined being happy with doing good. Now, isn’t that interesting? Contrary to what some may think, happiness is not inconsistent with holiness. In fact, holiness produces the only happiness that lasts. Happiness pursued out of greed and selfishness evaporates as quickly as it arrives because it has no solid connection.
Today (and everyday) I want to encourage you to enjoy all the goodnesses of God. The world needs to see your smile. So go ahead and laugh. Choose to be happier than a bird with a french fry!