Monday, November 2, 2015


Happy people spend much of their time socializing, going to church, and reading.  Somehow I think that there is probably a lot of overlap here.  That is, many of the same people are doing these three activities:  1] mixing socially with others in small groups and one on one, 2] going to church more often, and 3] reading books and newspapers as sources of insight and information. Unhappy people watch a lot of television.  Although people who describe themselves as happy also enjoy watching TV, that is the single activity they engage in less often than unhappy people, according to John Robinson, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and the author of a study published in the journal Social Indicators Research.
The study relied primarily on the responses of 45,000 Americans collected over 35 years by the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, and on published ‘time diary’ studies recording the daily activities of participants.   “We looked at eight to ten activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more….were more happy.”  TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship.  Unhappy people did it more, and happy people did it less. 
Researchers could not answer the chicken-and-egg question of whether unhappy people watch more television or whether watching television is what makes people unhappy.   Even so, people who spend the most time watching television are least happy in the long run, he said.   Robinson also pointed out that since the major predictor of tube time is whether someone works or not, rising unemployment may lead to more TV time. 
So what are our take-a-ways today?  I think the implication of this research is that if we want to enjoy our lives more, we will celebrateGod in worship and study His truth, whether in His Word or in the text of good books/articles, connect with people in small groups and contribute to people’s lives in measurable ways through giving and serving.  This sounds to me a lot like the happy family of God at Crossroads….
Pray with me…. Great God in heaven, you have given each of us a life to live and a lifetime in which to steward it.  May our leisure-time be as purposeful and constructive as our work-time.  Help us to invest our days and years, our minutes and hours, in activity that will honor You and build Your loving reign into the lives of others.   And may our accountability to you for the life we live only fill us with the anticipation that we will one day have a servant’s joyous report to His Master.  In the Name of Jesus, who made Himself our Servant, we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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