When I bought my planner for this year, I also bought motivational stickers to put at the top of each month. The other day, I was writing an appointment down in December and as I glanced at the sticker for the month and realized that I disagree with what it says. The sticker reads, “Busy is the new happy.” I know why I chose that sticker for December. It is a busy month as we prepare for Christmas as well as carry on with regular life but being busy does not mean that we are happy.
The thought ran through my mind that maybe a better way of saying it is “Being productive is the new happy.” I soon realized that this is not correct either. There are many people who are top executives and CEOs that are not happy. There are celebrities and stars that do movies and concerts year after year that is productive but not happy.
Another reason that both, “Busy is the new happy” and “Being productive is the new happy” is incorrect is because there is no such thing as a “new happy.” There are things that we enjoy doing now that our parents and grandparents could never dream of doing such as playing games on the computer or popping popcorn in the microwave and watching a movie that we have easy access to on our tv. Although we should be grateful for the modern conveniences that add to our enjoyment of life, these things in themselves cannot make us happy.
We also use the term “happy place” these days to refer to anything from spending time with our families to the favorite store where we like to shop. What we mean when is this is a place or activity that we enjoy. I use the term too, and it’s fine as long as we realize that we are talking about something that brings us temporary pleasure. Finding happiness or our true happy place is not a new idea or place that we conjure up.
Happiness is not new it is as old as creation. We were created so that our true happy place can only be found in a relationship with God. If we look elsewhere, there will always be something missing. Being in Christ doesn’t mean that everything will always go our way and that we will never experience sadness or hurt, but it does mean that the deepest need of our heart will be met, and we will know that we are never alone.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11) (ESV)