Dr. James L. Snyder Ministries
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"Out to Pastor" > There Is No Known Cure for Happy-itis


15 Jan 2016

Now that the pressure of the Old Year is off and the New Year has just begun, I can chill out a little and rest for a while. 

Towards the end of the Old Year, there is a lot of pressure to get caught up on all of those stupid New Year’s resolutions I made for the year. Every year I am pressured into making some silly New Year’s resolution. I would think that after a while this would get old.

For some people, this is simply a way of life and addressing the New Year.

“Have you got your New Year’s resolution list made up,” my wife always badgers me.

I used to be able to get away with saying, “Yes, I sure do.”

That worked until one year she said, “Can I see your list of New Year’s resolutions?”

I dodged that for as long as I could and then had to confess that I really did not have any New Year’s resolutions.

That was a major mistake on my part because the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage volunteered to help me make up a list of New Year’s resolutions. That list was so long that, if taken seriously, it would take me the rest of my life just to put a little dent in it.

From then on, I made up my own little list of New Year’s resolutions.

Usually on my list is one resolution dealing with losing weight. I cannot tell you how many times I have lost a pound only to find it and its friend the next day. I cannot help it, I guess I am so pleasant to be around this weight cannot stay away from me. Maybe I should try to be a little grumpier this year. (That would make a great New Year’s resolution!)

Somebody in our house is very serious about New Year’s resolutions.

The year starts out with, “You got your New Year’s resolutions all ready?”

It then evolves into, “Have you started on your New Year’s resolutions yet?”

The next evolutionary point is, “What New Year’s resolution have you completed?”

The evolution ends with, “Have you completed your New Year’s resolutions yet?”

This is one reason why I do not believe in the theory of evolution.

At each evolutionary stage, my stress level increases appropriately. By the time December comes around my life has evolved to a point of absolute nervous recklessness and major stress because I know not one of those New Year’s resolutions were met.

That is why I like January. Yes, I have that list of New Year’s resolutions, but I have not really started thinking about them yet. That is the beauty of January. Nobody is thinking about working on those resolutions nor is anybody, especially in my happy domicile, questioning about where we are along with our New Year’s resolutions.

For the most part, January finds me in a state of sheer happiness. I call it, happy-itis and as far as I know, there is absolutely no cure for it. I just love being happy and on occasion my face joins in the celebration.

“Why,” my wife demands, “are you so happy?”

This is where a husband has to carefully think about his next response. Should I tell her the truth or should I tell her what she really wants to hear? Sometimes these two do not hold hands.

I compromise and say, “I’m just happy about starting a new year and what it has for us.” Then I smile broadly, which usually throws her off her game.

Being happy is one of the great benefits of life that not many people have discovered. I know there are many times when happiness does not really fit the occasion, but I am concentrating on those times when it does fit. I love being happy.

Not only that, but I love trying to make other people happy as well. Wherever you go these days all you find are people under stress and discouraged without much motivation to go forward. I think everybody needs a dose of happiness every now and again.

I am hoping that somehow I could be infected with the happy-itis virus and infect as many people as I can. Of course, I know there is absolutely no cure for this disease and if I ever find anybody looking for a cure, I am going to go after them with everything I got. (That would make a great New Year’s resolution!)

Often when facing a serious problem, my wife will look at me and say, “Wipe that smile off your face right now. Let’s get serious for a change.”

That has been my problem. It is very difficult, especially during the month of January, for me to get serious about anything. Everything I see brings a smile to my face. Every person I meet causes me to giggle and when I giggle, it is hard to hide it from my face.

James understood this when he wrote, “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11).

There is more to life than being happy, but not much more. Happiness comes from deep inside and flows to the outside so everybody can see it and benefit from it.