Friday, August 7, 2009

Are We Happy?

When we see crowds of people rushing into theaters, charging into their local bars, or seeking new thrills, we see that they have not yet found happiness, otherwise they would not be looking for it.

The fact that we can think of a greater happiness than we posses now is proof that we are not happy. If we were perfect we would be happy all the time. At one time or another in our lives we have tried to obtain what would make us happy, but when we get it, are we happy?

Remember how we look forward to a vacation or Christmas, and we thought about how great a time it was going to be and how happy we were going to be? But then as our vacation ended, or we are falling asleep in our beds after Christmas day, we feel that somehow or other it did not meet our expectations.

We want to be perfectly happy, but we are not. Our lives have been a series of disappointments, shocks, trials, sufferings, and disillusions. The real question lies in how we reacted to our disappointments; either we became cynical, or religious.

If we decide to become cynical, we decide that, since life is a snare and a delusion, we ought to get as much thrill and fun out of it as possible! In a case such this we grab at any excitement we see, making our lives a consistent search for a "good time." This would be the right attitude if we were just an animal. But we have a soul as well as a body. So there are joys in life as well as pleasures.

There is a world of difference between these two. Pleasure is of the body; while joy is of the mind and heart. One can become quickly tired of pleasures, but you can never tire of joys. A pleasure can keep building until it reaches a point where it stops being pleasure it may even begin to cause pain if carried beyond a certain point. Therefore, if we live focused on pleasure we are missing the joys of life.

Have you noticed that as our desire for pleasure increases, the satisfaction from the pleasure decreases? The drug addict, to have equal pleasure from his drugs, must increase his dose or kind of drug. Otherwise the thrill runs off. Any addict deals with this. You keep searching for the next big thing because the pleasure of the last wore off.

On the other hand, one will react to disappointments in a religious manner. If we see that we haven't found the happiness we are looking for we come to the conclusion that, "If we want happiness, we must have been made for happiness." We realize that we have been looking for happiness in all of the wrong places. Therefore we look for happiness somewhere else, in God.

If our philosophy is always to have a "good time," we have already learned long ago that we will never really have a "good time," because we are always in the pursuit of happiness without ever capturing it. We will spend our whole lives searching for happiness, and what ends up happening is that we go through life without noticing how happy we could be if we look to God for our happiness. "We turn the pages of life, without ever reading the book." --Fulton Sheen.

This is why those who live for pleasure become cynical. They blame things, rather than their self, and they end up chasing mirages until death overtakes them.

Our whole lives will be disordered and miserable if we base them on the principal of always having a good time, simply because happiness is an end product, not a goal. One should not seek happiness, but rather seek good and happiness will come as a result.

From all of this comes the question; "Why am I disappointed and unhappy?" The reason for this is simple; because we have such a large unbalance between our desires and our realizations.

For example, one would look forward to some earthly pleasure, or position, but once they attain it, they begin to feel the large unbalance between the idea they desired and the reality of what actually happened. This causes disappointment. The more material and earthly our goals are the more disappointment follows; the more spiritual and "God-centered" our goals are the less disappointment there is. That is why, if we devote our lives to God and His will we can ultimately find happiness in everything.

Certainly we would never want this perfect life, perfect Truth, perfect Love unless it existed. The very thought that we enjoy these things to the best of our abilities means there must be a place where we can enjoy these things in complete happiness. That's heaven! Would there be an eye if there was no beauty to behold? Then would there be a craving for unending life, perfect Truth, and ecstatic love unless perfect Life and Truth and Love existed?

In other words, we are made for God. Nothing short of the infinite satisfies us, and to be asked to satisfy with anything less would be to destroy us. That's why there is a heaven!

While we are on earth, we dream of heaven; we are creatures of time, and we despise it. We are constantly looking for the source of Life, Truth, and Love, and that something is God; and the times when we have been disappointed are when we have lost sight of Him!

It is God that we are looking for. Our unhappiness is not due to our want of a fortune, or a high position, or fame; it is not due to a want of something outside of us, but rather a want inside of us. We are made for perfect happiness. That is our purpose. No wonder everything short of God disappoints us!

But have you noticed that when you realize you were made for perfect happiness, how much less disappointing the pleasures of earth become? Once we realize that God is our end, we are no long disappointed! "This causes us to see that friendship, the joys of marriage, the sunset and the stars, masterpieces of art and music are all gifts from God! He dropped them into our life to remind us that these things beautiful. It is a small foretaste of His eternal kingdom in heaven!"

Life is not filled with disappointments- unless you expect more than what you have at that very moment. Disappointments are merely parts of life saying: "Perfect Happiness is not here." Every disillusionment, every destroyed earthly hope, every frustrated human desire points to God. Though our passions may be satisfied by things of this world, we are never satisfied until we are at peace with our One True God in His eternal Kingdom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very enlightened writing. Iam very encouraged.God Bless.