This week we read about Ms. Happiness.
Sigh. Aren’t we all on this quest? If we just find the perfect man, the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect family, the perfect (fill in your object of desire here); then we can finally be happy.
In the meantime…fake it.
We wouldn’t want to admit that as followers of Jesus we often feel tired, poor in spirit, weak, and just plain ‘ol empty; would we?
That would be akin to admitting we had bought into one of those pyramid schemes that came toppling down—heavy bricks clunking the entire way.
Trouble is, we’re only human after all. We are all subject to seeking an imperfect way to fill our empty places. Before we even think about it, we’re off, following our own plans for happiness.
Lisa identifies three quests we often embark upon in search of a happy life.
- You can make yourself be happy.
- Someone you love can make you happy.
- Something you have or do can make you happy.
Pertaining to #1, I found the quote from Robert E. Quinn, a business leadership authority, very interesting: “It is our hypocrisy and self-focus that drains us. When we become purpose centered, internally directed, others focused and externally open, we discover energy we didn’t know we had.”
I love that. It means to stop thinking about yourself and help someone else, for crying out loud. Dan Baker and Cameron Stauth wrote a whole book about this concept called, What Happy People Know (okay, it’s about a little more than that, but helping others was a big part of it.)
Our society has become extremely self-centered, and, as Lisa points out, this has not upped our overall ratings of happiness. What’s more, we are teaching our children this lopsided view of self, further perpetuating the myth of self-improvement.
It frightens me.
I want my kids to be wildly successful in all they endeavor, I want them to be well-rounded—athletic and intelligent, I want them to have friends and hobbies, a great self-esteem…
But above all that, I want them to be happy.
We all know where this is going. True happiness can only be found in One place.
If I am not investing in this One place, how can I expect my children to value It?
And, the Bible tells us that in this One Place, we will suffer hardships and trials. We will have times of unhappiness. That’s why I love how Lisa points out the difference between happiness and Joy.
I’ve always thought of happiness as circumstantial. But joy…oh, my. It goes so much deeper. It’s a toe-tingling, soul electrifying, heart-stopping kinda thaing.
On my way home from work tonight, I was talking with the Lord. I was busy telling Him about my latest stuff, talking over the praise music..using my hands to punctuate. We were in deep. Then, I glanced to the side of the road and was struck silent mid-sentence. The leaves on the trees had started to change into the most glorious garment you could ever imagine. The beauty of that God-painted still life took my breath away.
It’s all from Him.
Ms. Happiness ain’t got nothin’ over me.