President Obama turned 50 yesterday, and the article Obama at 50: Older, Wiser ... Happier? talks about people being "happier" at middle age. The article cites a study that says that at around ages 45-50, worry and anger plummets and a person's "happiness" levels rises significantly. With all that the president has gone through with the debt ceiling compromise, and is facing with the economy and with two wars, if anybody has a reason NOT to be happy at 50, it's President Obama. The joke about presidents is they grey faster due to the high levels of stress that comes with the job. I am seeing a lot of grey in President Obama's head these days.
The one thing that stood out to me in the article is the use of the word "happy." I prefer the word "joy." Joy is a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is God given. Happiness is man driven. Happiness is predicated on external factors, whether one has money, prestige, degrees, and all of the "to do's" completed on their check list. Joy is not. It is God given. Do you think it is true that people are "happier" at middle age?
What about young people in the Bible....Mary at age 13 or 14 finding out she is pregnant, not by Joseph but by God......Timothy pastoring the church at Ephesus at a young age....the prodigal son spending all his money of riotous living.....David being called to rule Israel at a young age? These young people were under a lot of stress, but were their lives man driven or God driven?
I just think equating happiness with age is a farce. If people are nourished on the Word of God and live by Godly principles, they can begin to have joy at any age. The rich, young ruler could have had joy, but he wouldn't give up his possessions and follow Jesus. This joy that I have the world didn't give it to me, and the world can't take it away!