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“It's good to be just plain happy, it's a little better to know that you're happy; but to understand that you're happy and to know why and how and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss.” Henry Miller

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happiness: Active and Constructive Responding

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

Romans 12 describes love in very operational terms. This chapter stands right up there with I Corinthians 13 in speaking about how to love. Martin Seligman would call this active and constructive responding.

I love American Idol. I love watching it for the music, but more than that I love watching humans strive for happiness and meaning in their lives. During last season, notable curmudgeon Simon Cowell commented, after hearing another family scream with joy after their singer got their golden ticket, that we Americans are genuinely happy for each other's successes, something that he doesn't do himself.

One of my dear friends, Pam, really knows how to show up for her friends. If she is invited to one of our events, she shows up, often traveling long distances to do so. When my sister-in-law passed away, she drove two hours just to attend the funeral and hug me. When my step-son married, she did the same.

Now her husband has a recurrence of cancer. Larry is a doctor himself, and thus knows the very frightening details from every angle, of what is to come. Last Friday night, at their home, friends and family came together for a healing prayer service. We sang, and took communion together and then Larry and others received anointing by oil and prayer. The occasion brought me to tears. The richness and meaning of the worship rendered me speechless. What an honor to be invited into the presence of my dear friends.

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