Blog

To be happy or not to be happy?

528 Views23 Comments

I’ve been asked to be a guest on a blog.

So I’m testing it out here first:-)

The topic is to write in 500 words or less about  how to become more happy. (or if that should even be a goal…)

I’m not good at math Joe, so maybe you should take what you want or cut what you want, either way it’s a good question?

The question is in which? How do I or how does someone become more happy? Or should that even be a goal? Is that a trick question? Depends who you ask… Or maybe appropriately it’s more about when you ask…

When I just jump in to the idea of happiness, I think of camp. I remember Carpet Ball (Did you ever play that?), Tether Ball, going to chapel (It was a Church Camp), I think of camp “crushes”, I think of how this gave me a picture of Jesus as something I never could imagine, and still barely can: a picture of Jesus as a friend.

I remember that’s when the switched happened. Where religion went from this very impersonal, rigid thing, to this idea that Jesus could be my friend. Even thinking about it now, I can remember how that made me happy. Truly.

But some of the things that I grew up in, the hell that it was at times, the occasional nightmares at times…well, those didn’t make me happy.

My wife makes me happy, or brings happiness, or joy or what have you…I’ve got some of the best friends a guy could have. Heck, if you really have one good friend. Someone that really knows you, tells you how it is, makes you laugh, and shares in the pain with you, you’re a lucky man..or woman:-)

I expect when you hear the word “happy” you think of what I’m thinking right now. The smile of a child, a sun shinny day, a flower, love. Or maybe it’s something that rings true in how you are wired. Maybe it’s movies, roller coasters, lobster, exercise, adventure, books, music…or maybe it’s something that has enslaved you like money, control, ego, lust, movies, roller coasters, lobster, exercise, adventure, books and music. It’s not just a negative list that can enslave, and force you to bow to it and to worship it…it’s sometimes the things in our lives, that can sneak up and rob us as much life as the negative things, or the sinful things if you prefer. It may be whether you prefer or not.

Happy is tough. Don’t you hate it when your having a crappy day and someone says, “Cheer up.” Do you ever want to slap them? I do. And yet there something that’s lovely about encouragement, support, helpfulness, graciousness, kindness, gentleness, and compassion, even if my sickly soul isn’t in a place to hear it, if my heart somehow someway is to hard to hear it. Maybe just maybe it has something to do with my own worship of my “happy things.”

The idea of happiness get’s harder for me. Like when I think of one of my best friend who lost his wife to cancer a few months ago. If I asked him this question, I wonder what he’d say? Or if he’d say anything at all. Or my wife’s friend who was just in a serious boating accident, and as I type this is literally fighting for his life.

I visited the 9/11 memorial today in New York. I wonder what the families and friends of all those lost on that day would have to say about happiness. Actually one of the statements made by one of these such people said, “I’ve learned to live without her.” Is he happy? Is that a happy sentiment. What makes him happy? Or should he even pursue it?

Is all hope lost? What’s the balance in this conversation? Or is there a balance?

This might be the point where I rattle on about the difference between happiness and deep joy. I’ve been a Christian for awhile now, and I’ve heard so many sermons on this, I’ve gone cross eyed.

I do believe in the scriptures. I do think there is something true and beautiful in the book of James, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

This is beautiful and it sucks. It doesn’t suck because it’s not true. It just sucks when the worst of the worst happens.

Last week my best friend Jesse, called me when he found out about his friend in a coma, and said, I know all the answers right now, but I just want to cry.

Sometimes that’s all there is to say. Sometimes that’s all there is to do. I would agree there is something deeper and seemingly more mature about joy than happy. Happiness from my perspective seems to be more of an emotional thing, and joy at least in the context of that scripture in James, appears to be a matter of faith.

When we face the deepest darkest depths of the brokenness in this world: death, abuse, suicide, cancer, bigotry, sin of any kind…whether it’s a darkness that was thrust upon you or upon yourself and you just find yourself shipwrecked on the rocks of life, and you are beat up, bruised, and bloodied, sometimes all there is to do is : cry. And somewhere in the smallest parts of those tears, I pray there is a little bit of faith, and little bit of considering it pure joy when you are shipwrecked in your small amount of time that you have breath in your lungs…and that faith, those tears, I pray that they would lead you to the only one who could possibly bring you what you desperate broken soul so deeply craves: compassion.

I pray you are lost, or get lost in the compassion of Jesus. This I believe is the only thing that can bring you healing, redemption, and the faith it takes to consider it pure joy when you face those trials.

In closing I’d guess I’d have to say probably neither. I don’t know that I’d chase happiness, or not avoid that experience called “happy”. Let it happen when it happens. Happiness is great. I imagine if you dare to accept my challenge to let yourself be drowned in the compassion of Jesus, well heck, that may just make you happy, even if it’s for a few hours, or minutes. It will be a beautiful time, no matter how long it lasts. But I would warn to make your life an endless pursuit of a feeling like “happy” or you may find yourself walking in circles until you die. Like the one lost in the desert who keeps thinking he see’s water, but it just turns out to be a mirage.

I think in the gospels of Jesus, the call isn’t one to happiness, but literally says, “If you really want to come after me take up your cross”…an instrument of death, is what this was…Jesus asking his disciples (us disciples) to die to ourselves.” I love how Rich Mullins put this, when reflecting on this, “I shouldn’t just die to the bad things in my life, but also to the good things.” Isn’t that where true surrender is? Yet, our culture, even in the Christian culture is obsessed with making our lives “happy”…we even have a doctrine known as the “happy” gospel…or is it prosperity gospel? Which is it again? Doesn’t the Bob Marley Song go, “Don’t worry, Be Happy?”…I like the first part, but I liked it better how Jesus said it, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me”…Or when Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”

DLS

Comments (23)

  1. I love these reflections on happiness man. It is for real and difficult.

    When I went crazy was when I realized the term “blessed” is very close to “happy” in the beatitudes. When you read “Happy are those who…”, my definition of happiness went a little crazy pants.

  2. Something more important is that when searching for a good internet electronics retail outlet, look for online shops that are frequently
    updated, maintaining up-to-date with the most recent products,
    the top deals, in addition to helpful information on services and products.
    This will ensure that you are doing business with a shop that
    really stays atop the competition and provide you what you need to make
    knowledgeable, well-informed electronics buys.
    Thanks for the essential tips I’ve learned through
    the blog.

  3. The length and width of your table needs to be measured accurately for the best fit.
    It will make your experience a lot more hassle free. Stockinette Dishcloths:
    typically, these are 75% Cotton and are more
    durable for repeated laundering.

  4. Many people become game testers in order to make their way into a more professional career in the
    gaming industry like game design or development. Debug – is the process
    of fixing a flaw or simply finding what causes the malfunction so it can be fixed.
    You must take it seriously and write in depth reviews of the games you are testing.

  5. The default keyboard of an i – Mac comes without a number keypad.
    Well, depending on your location’s current policies, you have three options that you can choose, and those are
    trade-ins, recycling, or reusing. After all, these are devices that are
    great investments as long as you get the right device for
    you and your lifestyle.

  6. Be sure to look for a unit that is large enough to serve
    your volume needs, a unit that is energy efficient, and a unit that is set up
    for the correct type of utility. We can use earth acupuncture to hold these points with rocks or triskeles buried into the earth.
    After drinking that day night with his usual high blood pressure because he was
    thinking too much that period, the following
    morning which was on 21st May, 2003 I tried waking him up from bed so he could go and take his bath but he could not we rushed him to
    the hospital for check-up and treatment but by 10pm that same day he died.

  7. I do not even know the way I stopped up right here, however I assumed this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger should you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

  8. There is no such thing; it is just a way of getting you to
    pay more money. The Philippine Eagle (or Monkey-eating Eagle
    as it is sometimes called) entered the critically endangered
    list due to massive deforestation across its habitat.
    One Person Bird Many people will say that an African Grey parrot is a
    one person bird.

  9. Wo lassen sich die meisten Kontakte für kostenlose heiße Abenteuer finden, die ganz offen mit ihren Bedürfnissen und sexuellen Vorlieben umgehen und aufgeschlossen sind für ein Sexdate – Top 10 Städte zeigt Ihnen, wo die Erfolgschancen am
    größten sind.

  10. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the page layout of your site?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  11. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues
    of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored
    myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is
    popping it up all over the internet without my permission.
    Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off?
    I’d truly appreciate it.

  12. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging
    on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be exciting to read through
    articles from other writers and use a little something from their web sites.

  13. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website.

    I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you in the
    future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has
    encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉

Leave your thought

Close
Compare
Wishlist 0
Open Wishlist Page Continue Shopping