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Want to be happy? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Sunday, 18 September 2011 01:05

Laughing Jesus

Then become a church minister!

This is reported in the General Social Survey by the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago, which shows that number 1 of the "Ten Happiest Jobs" are clergy, followed by firemen and physical therapists. You can read more at Forbes.

I must admit I laughed when I read this through a link on facebook, but then, after the incredibly tiring and yet very fulfilling week spent with hundreds of S1 pupils this past week, immediately followed by being able to share with a grieving family as we committed a much loved family member into God's care, I can see why this might be the case. It is meaningful work, in which you interact with people, and where you can make a difference. [There's more...]

From the Forbes article:

Why were these jobs with better pay and higher social status less likely to produce happiness? Todd May writing in the New York Times argues that “A meaningful life must, in some sense then, feel worthwhile. The person living the life must be engaged by it. A life of commitment to causes that are generally defined as worthy — like feeding and clothing the poor or ministering to the ill — but that do not move the person participating in them will lack meaningfulness in this sense. However, for a life to be meaningful, it must also be worthwhile. Engagement in a life of tiddlywinks does not rise to the level of a meaningful life, no matter how gripped one might be by the game.”

This is what underlies the difference between the happiest jobs and the most hated jobs. One set of jobs feels worthwhile, while in the other jobs, people can’t see the point.

Ever since I first saw it, I loved the image of Jesus laughing pictured above. So often the imagery that artists have had in mind for Jesus is either someone suffering terribly upon the cross, or a mild looking man who wouldn't say boo to a ghost. It's not the image I have in mind as I read the gospels. Jesus, I have no doubt, knew all the emotions that we know, he cried, he laughed, he mourned, he rejoiced. But above all, Jesus had good news to share: new that inevitably would have caused a smile, even a laugh as Jesus told his stories, and deep joy as he saw lives change before him.

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