How to Find Happiness?
The world in which we live and observe at a distance is quite discouraging. On the news is something about the president (usually negative) or someone in congress who did this or is guilty of that. We see routinely the evils of Islamic terrorism, and a politically correct world that only recently sees it as a serious threat that vocabulary is being changed.
At home the parents are continually at odds with one another; the husband can do nothing right, and the wife seems to nag continually. The husband walks on egg-shells, and the wife does not like the way she looks at all. The children are always complaining, crying about what a sibling or siblings are doing. “It’s not fair!” Add to this the work environment with its own stress, and it continues day in and day out.
How can one find happiness in this?
A person can’t! The disposition of the one asked to be happy has difficulty mounting up the strength to overcome all that is seen, heard and experienced. It’s almost better to hide from the world than to compete with it, much less to resist it.
Not long ago I read a newspaper article of a once-time teacher who took the very challenging day she was experiencing and asked her students to write down 20 things that makes them happy. In time, this morphed into a seminar where she lectures a class that no longer has student-children, but student-adults doing the same thing, talking amongst themselves about the things of life that make them happy. It was noticed that the things that made for happiness was frequently overlooked for various reasons (Columbus Dispatch “Serious happiness,” 6/5/2017, pages E 1, 2).
Clearly, the value of a class like this can be seen as important, maybe even necessary. What makes you happy? As you think about all those things in life that make you happy, things you have not been doing, will you introduce yourself to them all-over-again?
Making this list, where does the Lord fit in? Speaking only for myself, it is the Lord who makes me happy. After Him, come my wife (Anne), children (Jenni, Nikki) followed by the rest of the family. I suspect (and hope) you would say something similar. If not, why?
Life can be hard and unforgiving, but the Jesus’ way is both easy and forgiving. He calls upon me (and you) to give up self and look to Him, then to others. This is a great foundation for happiness. As read in the New English Translation (NET), consider happiness: “”Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
If one were to start with this foundation, do you think happiness would be readily available? Happiness that has sole origin in what a person generates does not last long; happiness because of what the Lord did is everlasting. RT