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What is Happiness?


Have you ever thought about what makes you happy?

When asked, many people say something like, “Having my wants and desires satisfied.”

Consequently, they spend time and resources trying to satisfy them.  Ever entertaining themselves, seeking happiness in purchasing more and more toys, constantly seeking their own comfort and enjoyment.

But, is it even possible to ever really be ‘happy’?  Don’t our desires continually re-surface, never satiated, never satisfied?

Of course they do and that is what makes happiness to be a goal that is never truly met in this lifetime.

And, our natural desire to be blessed is always confronted with the reality that we must suffer infirmities, must contend with often having to make decisions even while partially or, wholly ignorant and having to deal with others who seemingly could give a darn about other people and are constantly in motion creating unneeded and harmful drama.

Whenever we do find joy it is delicious for a moment but eventually there is sadness.

When we encounter a sweet person who is lovable, our happiness is intense…until we lose them.

After long toil we rest contentedly only to again become restless.

There is no end in the satisfying of our wants and desires, at least not on this planet.

Once we realize this we can begin to escape from the fog of the worldly-induced passivity where we only seek our own desires.

We can remember that we are placed here not to make ourselves ‘happy’ but, to co-labor with Christ against evil in the re-taking and re-making of this fallen world in the cause of the good and just Creator.

Every day I get emails and texts telling me how bad things are, how the world is falling apart, the wicked reign and, “Oh my, oh my!”.

But, we know how bad things are – they are really, really bad and it doesn’t do any good to keep saying it and finding more examples to complain about.

An interesting question instead might be, “Why are they so bad at this particular time and place?”

Here’s one theory:  They are so bad in America right now because good God-fearing Americans became seduced into a sleepy state where they forgot the first things about being Americans.

They relaxed paying much attention to their children’s’ schooling, they reduced time spent in grass-roots politics, they pulled back from church participation and other civic duties.

Confident that all was well (which it is seemingly was), they set course upon projects of personal ‘happiness’, titillating themselves with the increasingly alluring products that modern technology threw at them with ever-increasing advertising expertise and became content to let the ‘experts’ take care of things.

The result is what we are now faced with – our children have been educated by the experts and are now socialists, our politicians running the country are experts who know what is best for us better than we know ourselves and consequently feel free to cram their communist ideas down our throats and, likewise, our expert technocrats running our large corporations also know what’s good for us and are making darn well sure that we don’t disagree with them.  (Have we learned anything about the experts yet?)

The choice before us is easy to discern:  We either remain in the sleepy mesmerized condition that has allowed this to happen or, we summon our courage, pull up our pants and get to work to change it.

If we are happy to see our children and grandchildren become subjects of a socialist state, well, no action required.

But, if we instead think that the ideals of America are worthy of perpetuating and it makes us sick in our stomachs to imagine our progeny enslaved, then we need to start sacrificing some of the time and money we have been spending in our futile search for ‘happiness’ and direct those resources into activities that make a difference.

Complaining will get us nowhere – meaningful action can gain us rewards beyond our imagining.

I’m writing from Utah where we say, “Get on, ride hard, hold nothing back and give it all you’ve got!”

What are you going to do?

By Terry Applegate

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