Happiness

Happiness

by the Rev. Ernie Lewis

I suppose we all want to be happy.

In fact, some of us seem to think it is our right to be happy!

There isn’t much new in that. God’s chosen people had no sooner escaped from Egypt than they began to complain about the food, the water, even of the desert itself. They pined for the vegetables they’d enjoyed in Egypt and yearned to return there, even if the price was a return to slavery!

We’ve read recently about two of Jesus’ closest followers who came to him asking, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” They were acting like small children, spoiled children at that, wheedling at their Teacher for special privileges!

These folks wanted something they didn’t have and were acting as if their lives would be happy and complete if only they got what they wanted!

When I was a small boy, my Grandmother lived across the driveway from my family. She was old and was losing her eyesight as well as being somewhat disabled with arthritis. But she loved to sew quilt tops. She found it impossible to thread her needles so when she was ready to begin sewing, she would summon someone to assist her. One of my older sisters would run over and thread the needles. In return, Grandma would reach onto a high shelf and bring out a box covered in silver paper. Inside were chocolate mints, one of which was the reward.

I was neither fast enough nor coordinated enough to thread the needles, so I went without a chocolate mint. This sent me flying into a rage. When I went blubbering to my mother, she asked, “Have you asked Grandma for a chocolate mint?” I continued blubbering until my mother asked me again, “Have you asked Grandma for one?” Of course I hadn’t.

Finally, I did go to my Grandma and asked her if she would just give me one of the mints. “Of course”, she responded, reaching for the wonderful, silver covered box. It was the best chocolate mint I’d ever eaten!
Did it make me happy? Sure, at least for the moment……until there was something else that I felt I could not be happy without!

Since reading Bishop George Hunt’s essay a couple of weeks ago about the need to simplify our lives, I’ve been thinking about all the “stuff” in my life. I call it “stuff” because let’s face it, so much of it is pretty useless when you get right down to it. It’s easy for me to fill my life with things and “stuff” that give temporary pleasure but, like the silver paper on that box of chocolate mints, it fades and gets dull with time.
What fills that emptiness? The assurance of the presence of Jesus the Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, are there for the asking!

Constant happiness?

No, but the assurance of that constant presence, no matter what.

It’s there for the asking!

3 comments (Add your own)

1. George Hunt wrote:
Thanks Ernie. On this particular day, I needed that reminder--yet again!

George

Tue, October 23, 2012 @ 6:07 PM

2. RBM wrote:
We are packing up our home of many years to move out of state, so we need to think about "stuff" every day! Our goal is to take just the essentials with us. The rest is being given away with the hope that it will make life more comfortable for others. Thank you for the reminder!

Tue, October 23, 2012 @ 9:21 PM

3. Carol Boyer wrote:
As always, Ernie, you remind us to focus on the important things and let go of the "other stuff".
Thanks.......CN

Wed, October 24, 2012 @ 2:57 PM

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