David Burchett Christian Blog and Commentary

How did I miss this?

 Here is the too late (for me) story from USA Today.

  • According to a scholar in seasonal disorders at a British university you should have felt happier than you have all year last friday. Cliff Arnall has analysed such factors as outdoor activities, nature, social interaction, childhood memories, temperature and holidays — data gathered over a period of 15 years in interviews with 3,000 people around the world. His conclusion: June 23 is the happiest day of the year.  "People across borders experience happiness when they meet with friends and family and establish close social relationships," the University of Cardiff academic reported. "We need some close emotional ties." He used what he considers a "simple equation" to reach his conclusion — O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He. O stands for outdoor activities, N for nature, S for social interaction, Cpm for childhood summers and positive memories, T for temperature and He for holidays and looking forward to time off.

Because I have written a lot about civility I am trying to be kind about this formula. Would it be in indelicate and impolite to suggest that I also have a formula about trying to determine the happiest days of the year? Mine would be something like this. P (H) = BE.  P for predicting, H for happiness, BE for Bovine Excrement. I guess the grumpy old man factor came out there. I can understand how summer time, family, memories, and so on would lead to potential happiness. I also realize this is not hard science and a fun argument so please hold your cards and letters.

  • Arnall has already figured out the saddest day of the year. It was January 23 — a Monday. "Surprise, surprise", he quipped.

So at least grumpy old man has this day to not look forward to next year. Why I am a bit skeptical of circumstance based formulas for happiness? Because I am beginning to figure out that you can have joy even when circumstances wouldn’t necessarily reflect that emotion. We are going through a difficult journey with Joni’s breast cancer treatment. Circumstances might dictate that every day is January 23rd on the “simple equation”. But we have found daily joy in this formula. J + P + (F x L) + T = Joy.  J is for Jesus, P is for Prayer, F is for friends, L is for laughter, and T is for trust. The formula works for us.

The Psalmist wrote these words.

This is the day the LORD has made;
       let us rejoice and be glad in it.

He has made both June 23 and January 23. He also has made today, June 29th. So this is the happiest day of the year for me. Because I am choosing to follow the instruction of Nehemiah to Ezra. You might remember these words from a Sunday School song.

For the joy of the LORD is your strength

It is an odd day to proclaim that truth as Joni undergoes a chemotherapy treatment this morning. But we have found it to be true. Circumstance will too often rob you of joy. Choose joy in the Lord. As my dear friend Mike T. often proclaims, “That’ll work!”. And he has proved that it does when he had every reason to choose otherwise.


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