One of my students gave me socks for Christmas, striped socks with pom-poms hanging from little bows at the ankle. I brought them home, showed my family, and sort of laughed about them. The pom-pom fashion craze was not something I got into, but I can always use a new pair of socks.

Seeing pom-poms the size of small grapefruits hanging off of backpacks, in all kinds of obnoxious colors, made it a fad in my mind, something people got into because of group think or vanity or pride. It never crossed my mind that there was any valuable reason to have unnecessary pom-poms bouncing around.

And then I wore my socks with the pom-poms, and they bounced cheerfully as I went up and down the stairs for the millionth time that day, and I realized they made me happy. And isn’t being made happy something of value?

I’ve heard so many people tell me happiness isn’t the reason I’m here on earth. It might be good and noble to be joyful, or to be glad, but God couldn’t care less about my happiness. I missed the point because while I don’t need to be happy all the time (and can’t be) I do need to be happy. God made me to be happy and I need to choose happiness. Maybe it’s something as little as pom-poms on my socks, and that’s alright. Because it’s the pom-poms that are the fad, not happiness.

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