The Happy Minute


In my never-ending quest to be healthier, I recently dusted off an old exercise DVD to get myself moving.  Toward the end of the 30-minute workout, the instructor talks about the “happy minute” – the moment when the music changes to a slower beat to begin the cool down.  For someone who hadn’t exercised in a while, this definitely was a happy minute for me!

Such a lovely phrase with its focus on a very small measure of time.  So often our thoughts and worries span decades.  Looking ahead to the struggles of soon-to-be aging parents, or kids leaving for college.  Will there be money to retire?  Will our health sustain?  Will we lose our jobs to another round of layoffs?  This straining ahead causes us to miss what’s happening around us in the present moment.  We forget to recognize the happy minute when we’re in it.

The other day I was cleaning the kitchen, listening to my boys playing Super Smash Bros on our Wii.  They were laughing and screeching and having a ball.  I stopped for a minute and realized how much time I had been investing lately worrying about their futures.  Grades, college applications, driver’s licenses, careers, friendships, relationships.   I pushed those thoughts away.  “In this moment, they are happy.”

In the hit song “Little Wonders” Rob Thomas calls them “small hours,”  and they are true—often hidden—blessings.  Not just the big landmark events, but the little moments in between.  In which God enters the quiet spaces of our hearts and whispers joy into our souls.  As Thomas goes on to say: “Time falls away, but these small hours…these small hours still remain.”

As November arrives, with its focus on gratitude, I challenge you to stop, reflect, and be thankful.  Look for the happy minute. Try to do this several times a day until it becomes a habit.

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