Do you consider yourself to be a happy person? I’m not talking about just being in a good mood more often than not, or being optimistic. I’m also not talking about trying to act happy by putting on a happy face so others can’t see how much you are really hurting inside. There is a superficial happiness that usually comes to my mind when someone asks me how I’ve been or some other question that doesn’t seem to be seeking a truly honest answer. I think it’s just human nature to answer these questions superficially. Most of us are either too busy to really think about if we are truly happy, or we choose not to think about it. It is just easier to say “pretty good” when asked how we are doing.
So back to the question. Do you consider yourself to be happy? Maybe a better way to ask it is are you content with your life? I can tell you right now that while I am mostly content with my life, I am not always happy. There seems to be something missing, something I am longing for or that I desire. And don’t get me wrong, I have a great life. I am truly blessed. But I do understand that this longing is caused by my broken relationship with God. Each one of us is born with a God shaped hole that we are trying to fill with whatever we think will make us more complete. It may be a relationship, money, or sex. It could be food, or exercising, or pornography. We may even be trying to fill this whole with Church, or reading the Bible. The fact of the matter is, we will find ultimate fulfillment in none of these things.
Donald Miller is probably my favorite writer. In his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (great book), he discusses whether Jesus will fulfill us here on earth. Don suggests the we won’t find ultimate fulfillment until we are reunited with Jesus in heaven. In reference to happiness, he says “..the Bible does not set false expectations for us. The lives of the Apostles testify to this. So ours is a life filled with hope of what will come. We are like that bride, excited about her coming wedding, still thick with the frustrations that come with betrothal.” I love this bride analogy. It defines how being a Christian feels to me. Hope is the key word. I have hope that someday I will be reunited with God in heaven, just as a bride hopes her wedding day goes according to plan. In my hope comes joy, joy from believing that God loves me. Of course at times I have my doubts, just as I’m sure many brides have their doubts as well. Becoming a Christian doesn’t bring total fulfillment, just as getting engaged doesn’t bring sustained happiness. The real action takes place the day(maybe I should say night) of the wedding, both for the church and for the earthly marriage.
Another thing that I find alluring about this wedding analogy is that marriage is actually a gift from God that does bring us some sort of earthy fulfillment. Even though we cannot be ultimately fulfilled here on earth, there are most certainly some things that can help us to feel more complete. I already listed marriage as one of these. Can you think of any others? I’m going to take some time and try to create a list of other things that God has offered to as as means of earthly happiness. Hopefully, I can come up with some good thoughts and am able to post something soon. Until then, feel free to comment and let me know what you’ve come up with or just about anything else. Thanks for your time.