“Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man. – Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
Define: “to fix or mark the limits of” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
In Ron Howard’s movie Rush, the character of Niki Lauda said something that I found fascinating. While enjoying a serene moment of happiness on a lake somewhere beautiful, with a far off look in his eye he says to his new wife in effect, “Happiness is the enemy because it weakens you, it gives you something to lose.” Then she responds with an equally fascinating way, she says, “If you believe happiness is the enemy, you’ve already lost.” Admittedly these quotes are paraphrases of the movie, but their meaning and impact remain. What does it mean to win? What does it mean to lose? What is happiness and where is it’s value in a world of winning and losing? Philosophers have attempted to define happiness for centuries. We all know it when we see it, but defining it is something different. What causes happiness? What makes it go away? Why are some people happy and some not, when their circumstances are the same? You’ve probably heard it said that happiness is a choice. And while it sounds inspiring, it’s not really true. Joy maybe, but not happiness. One can be joyful and sad. We can even be joyful at the prospect of death at times. But happiness is something different. Some people demand it and blame others when they don’t have it. Some people have it, even when others try to take it away. And some people fake it and we’re surprised to hear of their depression. Is it something we can gain and lose on our power? Certainly we can choose to accept or deny it for our lives, but then acceptance requires an offering. We’ve all been offered happiness. There are times of unhappiness we will all have to bear. There are diseases and chemical imbalances that we will have to medicate and cure. There is depression we’ll have to counsel, and evil we’ll need to prevent. We’ll always live with those things. But there too will also be sunsets and rises. There will be new life to celebrate and memories to cherish. There will be parties and dances with lovers. There will always be sources of happiness. God wants us to enjoy them, to find happiness in them. We don’t live in a stagnant life. One where we’re born live and die, the end. We live in an eternity. The happiness of our lives now is just a glimpse at what is to come. And what is to come is a gift as well. A gift we should look forward to with happiness. A gift we can all enjoy. A gift we must accept to see. May we happily accept Jesus’ gift from the Cross. A gift that cannot be defined.
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone in kindness today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,