20090603

Happiness Is A Gift

I recently watched "Memoirs of a Geisha." It ended with a line about happiness that made me really think how true to life the words really are. So many people desperately seek to live happy lives. But I really don't believe that is man's primary purpose on earth. I believe that God has placed us earthlings here in this oxygen-required realm, to do something specifically for His Divine Purpose. It is when we discern what that purpose is that our bliss begins to shine forth. Too often, people work for decades in painfully unfulfilling jobs, just to pay the bills; while they have mental dreams of what they'd do if they didn't have to work. It is that very thought that they should spend every free moment cultivating. Perhaps a person dreams of writing a book; or preaching a sermon, or building a house. It's the inner ember that one should fan into a flame for something that will become a passion with life-giving force. I often tell young people caught in the devil's den of boredom, that there is very little likelihood that life will originate from staring at a Facebook page for hours and hours. Instead of this wasted use of precious time, they should take up a craft, or a trade, or a musical instrument. By the way, to quote the character in the movie, he said, "We must not expect happiness... It is not something we deserve. When life goes well, it is a sudden gift; it cannot last forever." I went so far as to Google how many times the Bible actually uses the word happiness. The answer was a mere six times. Four of them were found in the Old Testament. Somehow I believe what this actor said is true. Happiness is a gift that should come with the knowledge that it really can't stay forever unchanged in the form that it arrives. A constant state of happiness would cause us to forget that we live in a fallen world with many promises of sorrow; whether directly or indirectly related to our own life. I can think of stars over the years, who seemingly had it all; but, ultimately did everything they could, sometimes to the point of total destruction, to attain that fleeting gift of happiness. Tabloid news at the checkout counter soon made it crystal clear that money does not guarantee happiness any more than a degree guarantees success. This movie caused me to reflect on the times in life I considered myself to be the most "happy." And I surmised that it was those times when I was doing the very things I am innately wired to do. And so, on behalf of everyone in this great big world, who are doing everything they can to be happy, my advice is to stop trying. And instead just wait for the gift to come to you. It will. And when it does, savor it for all the joy it brings, knowing that it is like a butterfly that rarely stays in one place for very long. In the Bible, God lists seven fruits of the Spirit. Interestingly enough, happiness isn't listed among them. Peace and Joy are as close to being a synonym of being happy; but, the beauty of these two states of being are found even when happiness is absent. So at the end of the day, Wisdom teaches that we should seek to have peace and to find joy; even in the most mundane of circumstances. And we should always remember that happiness always comes for far too brief a time, before something takes it to another place, to another presence. So don't worry; be happy, is a montra that has nothing to do with one's circumstances. Find your niche. Do what you love. Find solace in all things whether you're currently on the mountain top or descending from its heights; knowing in peaceful bliss that there is no place on this planet that God is not.