By Steve Horn
I ran across an article that ranked states according to the “Most Miserable” and “Least Miserable.” To my surprise, Louisiana was ranked second as “most miserable.” That’s funny, because a few years ago Lafayette was touted as the “Happiest City in America.” So, which is it? Are we indeed the happiest city in the most miserable state? Or, are all of these things in the eye of the beholder?
I mean, after all, what other states can you, at certain times of the year, eat boudin for breakfast, a shrimp poboy for lunch, boiled crawfish for dinner, and have king cake for dessert?
Now, I know that I am biased and have limited experience living in other states, but I love the state in which I live. Besides, the same report claims North Dakota tops the well-being list. No offense to North Dakotans, but really?
The report does cause me to think about a few things that even have some spiritual significance.
- Things are rarely as bad as they seem. Yes, to somebody, Louisiana might look miserable, but to many more of us, we are full of faith, full of life, and consider Louisiana paradise. In life, what might seem bad, upon reflection is not all that bad.
- Conversely, things are rarely as good as they seem. Just because I am happy and well content, my eyes need to be open to the hurt around me. There are people right under my nose that have poor access to the basic needs of life. My prayer in reading this article is that I might do more to help those who are “miserable in Louisiana.”
- Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, misery is in the eye of the beholder. I run across people all the time who are joyful because they choose to be joyful. I run across other people seemingly daily who are miserable because they choose to be miserable. Some are miserable in Louisiana (and every other place on the globe) because they have chosen to be miserable. Let all of us say, “Today, I choose joy.” And boudin too!
Steve Horn is senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lafayette. This editorial first appeared on his blog.