This past week, the temperatures in Minnesota dropped and snow coated the ground. In fact, on one day the snow was actually deep enough that I had to use both a brush to sweep of our vehicles and a shovel to clean our sidewalks.
And all across social media I saw posts complaining about the snow and cold temperatures as though something strange was happening.
I realize that for some people who live in the northern region of the USA, this is not a happy time of the year. It is the season when leaves, temperatures, and snow fall and all reminders that this region is a very lush and green place to live are gone (for at least for the next five months or so).
But for me, I am HAPPY and excited because that means that outdoor hockey season in Minnesota is a few weeks away. Soon all across this great state outdoor rinks in parks, lakes, and ponds will be filled with hockey games of all levels of age and experience.
This year marks my fifty first year of playing ice hockey. And for most of those fifty-one years, hockey has been one of my “happy places”.
I have many other happy places such as spending time with the Lord, my wife, children, grandchildren, friends, my workshop, at/on any body of water; as well as being outdoors simply enjoying God’s creation.
So where is your “happy place”? If it is hot, sunny weather and you live in Minnesota it will be subjective. If it is with people who always make you happy; again, it will be subjective.
It may surprise you that the word ‘blessed’ in the Bible means “happy”. We see it in Matthew 5 when Jesus gives His famous “Sermon on the Mount (Mathew 5-7). “Blessed are…”
We find it in Psalm 1:1 which says; “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”
BOTH the Hebrew and the Greek word used in those passages means ‘happy’.
In fact, those of us who KNOW Him are SUPPOSED to be HAPPY! We are told in the Bible; “Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” (Psalm 144:15b)
In other words, our happiness is not based on our circumstances or activities, but rather, based on whether or not we are in the center of God’s will for our lives because it’s in the center of God’s will that we will be happy.
And, it is in this place that not only are we happy in our happy place(s), but our lives become a testimony to our friends and all those around us.
When they see you glowing and happy in spite of the circumstances, it speaks to them; it causes them to think; “Why is this person happy? Why is their response to life different from mine?”
When you walk in His will and follow His direction, you shine with His light, His joy; His happiness.
And it is a powerful testimony because no matter what is going on around you, others will see the abundant life that Jesus came to bring each one of us who call upon His name (John 101:10).