A bit of context to this post. At the time of writing this sentence it’s 22:28. My laptop speakers are blaring the song ‘Everything Is Awesome’. That means incredible lyrics including the words ‘awesome possum’ rhymed (tenuously) with ‘chocolate frosting’. Yeah, I’ve just been to see the LEGO Movie. It’s upbeat. It’s fun. I would recommend it to anyone. The point is, it’s a feel good movie…like, a feel REALLY good movie. It made me feel good anyway. And I think there’s a lot of benefit (for me anyway) in writing something when you’re in a good mood. That said, I wouldn’t want to write anything in my dark psychological thriller when I’m feeling like this. The, uh, tone wouldn’t exactly fit. At all. But why not write out of happiness? It’s kinda boring if you keep happiness to yourself.
So what to do when we’re happy? Without this becoming too preach-y, I think it’s a great time to thank God. You might disagree – I’m not really in a mood to care about that sort of thing write now (sorry). I guess I’m speaking more to those sympathetic with my beliefs here. Oh well, you need that from time to time. Thanking God doesn’t have to be a thing reserved for those times when he pulls through with something major in your life. A healing. A word. Something like that. Oh, those times are great times to thank God – and you should – but what about those times when things are just going well? It’s good to just thank God for friends, life, for every breath.
This kind of thing can easily get bracketed away as cheesy or soppy. It’s the candy floss side of religion – happy-clappy and, in some people’s opinion (*cough* Marx) completely deluded and false. It can be easy to supress this happiness and this thankfulness because of that. Or maybe you’re afraid of being insensitive…what if someone reads something like this when they’re not happy, what will they think of that? Have you ever noticed that people like to laugh? And that genuine cheer can be infectious? A great sombre cloud of empathy and mutual sadness is not always the best way to go about things. Sometimes people need a little laughter. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like being sad. It’s, well, kinda rubbish. I like it when people can cheer me up…don’t you?
You might agree with all that – great – but why be thankful? Well, being thankful’s another way of sharing that happiness, is it not? Thanks, as an outwelling of joy and appreciation, is something awesome. It just feels good for everyone involved. Share in that happiness with God – he didn’t make you to bottle everything up only for it all to break out in those really bad times. If we’re going to live life to the full I reckon there’s going to be a fair bit of fun in there. Giving thanks is a sign that you want God to be in on that too. It shows you’re thinking about him even when everything’s going well. I don’t want to be one of those people that only calls on God when I’m in trouble. I want him to be involved in everything. How hard can it be to get him involved in the joy?
And maybe, just maybe, if we get used to talking to him when everything’s going well, might it not be that bit easier to talk to him when everything’s not going so great? Have you ever considered that maybe those times of stress and pain are not the most conducive for hearing God clearly? Oh he can, and does, speak through them, certainly. But if you’re approaching him from a point of blame and disappointment anyway, things are probably going to start out tricky. The joy of the Lord is our strength. That’s important to remember. Bring him in on the good times; the fun; the laughter. Hear his voice then. Get to know him in the joy. He won’t let you down in the suffering.