Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is Your Happiness Inside or Outside?

Today I got to thinking about happiness. What is real happiness? Where does it come from? What makes it last, or not last? Are there big happiness's and little ones?
Yesterday my brother and his wife got the good news that they get to buy a house (their first) that they have been hoping for. It is a long awaited happiness! I've never seen my sister-in-law so happy. She says this ranks right up there with getting married and having a baby! A BIG happiness... I myself moved into a new home 7 months ago. Definitely a happiness! Seeing your children happy is a big happiness too. I'm sure we've all seen the various versions of ...
Happiness is...
Watching a movie that totally entertains you,
having friends over for a cook-out,
going on a long anticipated vacation,
buying a new toy,
having a birthday party,
going out to eat,
...fill in the blanks...

Each of us has different things that contribute to our sense of well-being.

Movies end, friends go home (and sometimes you're left with dirty dishes:), vacation is over. The new toy breaks, the novelty wears off or a newer model comes out. You are hungry again in a matter of hours and have to decide what to cook... Chocolate... now that's my buddy, it's almost always there for me!:) but then a tooth starts to ache or the scale has a reaction.
These happiness's are all transient, fleeting to a certain extent. Good while they last. There isn't anything wrong with them, but they are what they are.
This picture is on Chloe's 4th birthday... I'd say that's a happy face! Two months later, these toys are still played with, but not with this much pleasure. It is another toy to pick up, and at this house Mr. Nobody is the only one who really likes to pick up toys!
Baby Dahlia, "Gahlia" as Abi says, gets the same treatment.
This kitten was the favorite one out of a batch of four, this summer. Maris called it "Fluffy". He met an untimely demise not much after this. The same day that happened, we discovered a new batch of kittens and the current "Fluffy" is again our favorite.
There's nothing like dressing up to put a smile on a little girl's face!

How do we keep our smiles? There are many "things" that I enjoy. I call them "simple pleasures". The only problem is, these "outside" pleasures do not have the power to lift my spirits when I am down. There needs to be an underlying source of happiness within us. Like a fresh water spring...
Contrary to popular opinion, which suggests that Christians can't, don't, or shouldn't have any fun (depending on which persuasion you are), Jesus Christ came that we might have abundant life. Happy is that man, whose God is the Lord!
My sister Monica put my elusive thoughts into a word picture for me today. Picture this: When you are happy on the inside, then all the external, little or big, happiness's just make your cup run over. There's a whole new level of rich enjoyment when the inside and outside happiness's overlap!
May every one of us know and walk in true happiness all the days of our lives! May your story be, "My cup runneth over with joy!"
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