When I was a child and read a story I was happy and satisfied if the book ended “and they all lived happily ever after “. I could close the book and imagine Snow White or the heroine in domestic bliss with Prince Charming and all her babies.
The trouble with growing up is we eventually realise that life is not a fairy tale. If we are lucky we will experience some wonderful moments in our lives but we will also experience some awful, terrible moments too. Moments that will make us want to slam the book shut and hurl it out of the nearest window.
And what is happiness anyway? Surely it is different things depending where we are in our life’s journey? The superficial things that made me happy as a young child are not the things I am passionate about now.
If we are only happy when we buy things or obtain the newest technology eventually the buzz will fade and we will have to go shopping again to regain that thrill. If we are only happy when we have a certain career or certain people in our lives what will happen if they are suddenly taken from us?
The Bible has a verse that is fitting for this situation. It speaks about not storing up treasures on earth where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal but rather store up eternal treasures in heaven.
Happiness, I have found is usually a fleeting emotion based on a certain combination of elements producing an idyllic time or moment. Joy or contentment however are entirely different and not based solely on our current circumstances. We can choose to see the good in things, we can choose to look for blessings where they seem to be deeply hidden. It is simply a matter of retraining our thinking and cultivating an attitude of gratefulness.
Sometimes I am aware of being in a certain place with a select group of people and the thought comes to my mind “I’m happy now”. Bizarrely it always seems to be at a time in my life where outward circumstances should conspire to make me feel otherwise.
For example, the end of the month will see the end for us as a family to a situation that has been hanging over us for almost 2 years. Not knowing the outcome I should be living in fear and dread at what might happen. Instead I am taking each day as it comes and trying not to anticipate what might happen. I am not afraid. Whatever happens, we will be OK. We are a strong family unit, we deeply love each other and that will see us through. That and the fact that I also believe God is in full control and He will bring us through, however our happiness rates on the world’s scale.
This post is in response to the Daily Prompt – Happily ever after.