What does happiness mean to you?

pexels-photo-777155.jpegI am going through another one of those self-help workshops and my next assigned exercise is to answer the question of what happiness means to me. It might seem simple at first glance, but let me tell you about myself: I can complicate anything…

My first inclination was to write the basic list I am sure many others have written. It goes something like this:

Family
House
Cars
Money
Special Interests ( those activities we consider interesting and\or enjoyable).

Guess what? IĀ realized that none of those things could MAKE me happy. It isn’t family that makes one happy. It is the love of family that adds to your happiness. Love for a house, car, or the most common desire for money… Even those are about security.

Happiness is security.

Riding that Harley, skiing, skydiving, sailing, and other things that float your boat give rise to Joy. Pure joy is that feeling of freedom. Joy tells you that all is right in the world, at least at the present moment.
Some songs give me joy.
My children’s security and joy gives me joy.
That Harley thing…. sigh
The companionship of a dog gives me joy.
And security again. Security gives me joy.
Both bring on happiness.

But come on. It is NOT that easy.

And do we really have to smile to be a happy person? Nobody is happy all of the time. But we can still have security — the knowledge that everything will be okay.

I am rambling on. I am supposed to be writing an answer to what happiness means to me.

I guess I am not finished yet. No worries. If you think about it, there are worse things than spending time considering happiness. šŸ˜€

I would love to read your opinion on happiness! Feel free to comment.

God Creates and Facilitates Love

Yesterday evening I took a stroll to the grocery store. The shopping plaza is not far from my door – across a parking lot, up some stairs, a short winding around the back of the dry cleaners and the gym, and then a walk across the lot, up the sidewalk, and into theĀ store.

There was a man standing at the front, reading loudly from the Bible. He was shouting out the book of Revelations, telling everyone how they must turn to God and become pure so they would not die in everlasting fire.

Like all the other shoppers, I stayed as far away from him as I could. He was not preaching the “Good News” to anybody. He was attempting to scare people into turning to God because of fear.

I know differently and I’m sure many others do, too. God works through a heart of compassion and he blesses those who let Him work through them to show that love and draw in the souls of people who thirst forĀ Salvation. He is in the hands of the woman who offers aid to the suffering. He is in the feet of those who run to help when someone is sick, hungry, despondent, and alone. God is in the eyes of the people who let him use their soul windows to open the hearts of humanity and allow them to serve.

jesus-loves

He is not a God of pain and trembling.

So what is the book of Revelations about? The last book of the Bible warns about the laws of cause and effect. When we turn away from His love and refuse to let Him in, He cannot cleanse our souls of the darkness and the effect is an everlasting Hell.Ā  God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should have everlasting life. II Peter 3:9.

I am not sure of the intentions of the man shouting at the grocery store, but there was not a one who wanted to be near him or come to a God that frightened more than He loved.

He was screaming out lies and pushing people away.

God is LOVEĀ  ( I John 4:8) and God works in even those who do not see HIM in the same way as the traditional Christian teaching. How do I know that? Jesus said so. He told His disciples that when they were upset at those who were not one of the Disciples performing miracles. Ā But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. Mark 9:30

 

I love my Christ and not because I am afraid. I love Him because of who He is: That part of God who experienced the life of a man in order to understand the condition of humanity and intercede for us after giving His life and returning to His place with the Creator.

I know not everyone sees God in the same way. I am interested in how others see Him.

What is your view of God? Do you believe in a Creator? Do you believe God can ease your suffering and perform miracles? Do you let love flood your heart and soul?