I trust that each of you had the opportunity for a time of celebration with friends and family during the Christmas and New Year holidays. The changing of the year from one to the next comes rather quietly at the Coffelt house. We usually manage to stay up until midnight, celebrate the beginning of a new year with a kiss and then slip off to bed to finish the nap that one or the other of us may have started on the couch.
Christmas was celebrated at our house with all the kids, their spouses and all the grandkids together at the same place at the same time. Lots of noise, lots of excitement and lots of fun, it was especially fun for Grandpa.
For a period of about two to three weeks, how many times did we wish someone either a “Merry Christmas” or a “Happy New Year” or both? (Have you noticed that we never wish a happy Christmas or a merry New Year, why is that?)
Either way, we are for a brief time during the year wishing happiness upon family, friends and complete strangers. Now, I have heard folks wishing a safe or prosperous upcoming year, but mostly, wish happiness upon others. While this is indeed a good thing, it has made me wonder a bit about happiness in general.
I recently asked these questions of an unsuspecting family member, “At what point in your life do you remember being truly happy? When were you ever the happiest?” Those are tougher questions to answer than I realized.
We are all in one way or another engaged in the pursuit of happiness. After all, we feel that it is our God-given right. Right? It doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, tall or short, male or female, each of us feels a need for happiness.
Movie makers truly understand that people want to experience a variety of emotions while watching a film. I experienced just that last Saturday evening. Within a brief period of just under two hours, I was happy, then extremely sad, then happy again. And I didn’t have to do anything but watch the screen!
You see, happiness is simply an emotion. It is fleeting; it can come and go quickly. Joy, however is a state of mind or a state of being. Those who experience joy in their lives have the ability to share that joy in times of happiness and in times of sadness.
I’m certain you know people who have joy filled lives. Regardless of what is going on around them, they are the kind of people you want to be in the presence of.
That’s not to say that joy filled life will always be easy and that there will be no sorry. That’s just not the way it is. Anyone with a joy filled life can experience sadness, but still have the underlying hope and knowledge that sadness will pass and peace will once again reign.
That reminds me of the song “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. One of our granddaughters has learned to sing it, and was more than happy to share it with us last week. As the words to that little song show us, how uplifting it is to be able to look forward to tomorrow, after all, it’s only a day away.
For each of you, I wish more than happiness this next year. I wish for you a life of joy, days filled with knowing that there is always something better coming.