A few times a day I am invited, via my iPhone, to track my happiness.
It's part of a study to determine what contributes to happiness. (You can find out more at the October 16, 2015 edition of the Ted Radio Hour.
There are about 10 quickly-answered questions, three of them are standard: How do you feel? Are you feeling joy? Are you feeling awe?
Most of the time my answers to all three questions are neutral. Generally I feel fine, just fine. I don't think I've ever said that I was feeling awe. Generally I'm not even experiencing joy.
Except on Sunday. The invitation to answer the questions came as I was preparing for worship. The choir had rehearsed and I had a fun song running through my head. People were starting to come into the sanctuary. And I realized I was feeling joy. And that I was feeling purposeful. And no, I wouldn't like to jump to the end of the activity, even if there were no consequences.
What the study is finding is that people are more happy when their minds are focused, no matter what they're doing. A wandering mind actually contributes to unhappiness.
How wonderful that we've had the last month to focus our minds toward Christmas. And that together with billions of other Christians on Thursday and Friday we will focus on the great gift God has given us in the form of the infant Jesus.
And if the happiness study bears out, we should be the most joyous people ever!
Merry Christmas. Joy to the World!
- Ann Iona Warner