A pipeline to happiness

One of the main things I learned in high school years ago in north Texas was to flip on a smile. A big smile was a requirement for being on our baton-twirling drill team. I spent those three school years smiling hard—especially on the football field during half-time performances. That smile made people think I was a happier person than I really was.

Seventeen years after graduation. I read a book by Mary Baker Eddy called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and learned that happiness isn't a light switch that flips on and off, like that drill-team smile of mine. I found out that God was the source of everything good, including our happiness. I figured that must mean it was a built-in part of all creation. It's just there and belongs to you—like having a name. And it's a little like having a spring of fresh water free for your use. There are three things you can do with it. You can ignore it and expect to get your water somewhere else. You can go get the water when you need it. Or you can pipe it in and always have it in the house. But it's your spring.

Having a pipeline to happiness doesn't mean you laugh at tragedies, or that you're never sad. It certainly hasn't meant that for me. But the hard times don't have to convince you that your joy is lost. The source is still there. Dipping into your joy may take some prayer—maybe even some courage and trust. But access to joy is backed up by the Bible, which has a whole lot to say about happiness. My favorite? "God hath made me to laugh ..." (Gen. 21:6).

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April 15, 2002

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