3.5.06

Happy? - Jesus Army Life, Day 282

I've been musing about happiness lately. I've been thinking about how important it is. There's a well used saying about happiness not being the destination, but the way you travel. I think that's true and more: happiness is a tool for life. It's a great measure for how you're coping with the everyday challenges. It's a profound indicator of how much positivity you're bringing to a situation.

The ability to express liberty, to produce life is fundamental to what a Christian is about, it is the simplest evidence of the touch of God (finding full expression in all sorts of miracles and supernatural activity). Jesus came to bring life to the full remember? I'm not talking about some shallow feeling of bliss and I'm not denying that depression isn't a real issue, especially for Christians, but I am saying there needs to be a certain factor of joy or love or beauty to our existence if we want to bless others. We need to find that elemental joy and appreciate it, we need to drink from the God who gives it, not for it's own sake, but because God is a God of change, exciting change.

Joy. The ability to see beauty and relish in it. The exquisite blessing of knowing a fullness in your life. The freedom to dance and laugh as though there wasn't a care. It's vital because it produces real sustenance with which to serve. It's a necessity for navigating through the drudgery of life's problems. If you want to give rather than receive, if you want to retain a certain dynamic energy in what you do you need a certain basic happiness. It keeps everything else buoyant.

For the record I think I've known depression, I've known the temptation of suicide, I've known that reality of lack of vision for anything, a despair at facing another day of work, feeling like you want to cry but never getting there, the craziness of sleepless nights, lack of motivation, experiencing lostness and loneliness, overcoming addiction, the tension of an unexplainable pressure. I don't like to admit it but to some degree I've known those things. And that makes me want to shout this all the louder. That's why I believe happiness is partly a utility not just an emotion, a tool for life. That question: Are you really truly happy? can plumbs the depths of our soul and stir up a legion of monsters inside. It can also point the finger on the map and say: You are here.

With my character I can be a fairly moody, melancholic sort (I'd like to say dark and brooding if I could be all Wuthering Heights about it!) I can't manufacture happiness just for the sake of it. I can't stand superficial cheerfulness. But I'm also a secret comedian, kindling laughter in those who are near me, the people I trust, the friends I love and mates I care for. And I'm choosing to extend my boundaries, I want to bring others into that circle. The reason is simple: it's because I have been saved by the King of the Universe, His Spirit within me has blessed me with enthusiasm and life. And I don't want to deny the amazing gift of delight He has created within me.