Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Are You Happy…Really?

“My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is.” Lamentations 3: 17

So I was creeping on facebook this morning and looking at all kinds of “friends” profiles pages after they had come up on my news feed. There were the typical posts about life: papers due, stress at home, tidbits of mundane activities, funny quips and sublime quotes. And there were pictures. Lots of pictures. Pictures of smiling, happy people at parties, trips to the beach or amusement parks, or at family get-togethers. Then there were the ones of drinking, clubbing, cray-cray madness, YOLO and all that stuff, right? And I found myself in those moments thinking to myself, “Are you happy? I mean really happy? 

On the surface it appears that people are happy. They are smiling. They are hanging out with buddies with beer cans or at a club with drinks in hand. They’re in the arms of “someone” and are kissing or pressing close together. They are dancing, jumping around, goofing off, etc. But as I looked into the EYES of the people in the photos I couldn’t help but wondering if all the “happiness” they seem to be experiencing is not real happiness, but just an experience. We can all be “happy” when with our friends. We can be “happy” doing something we enjoy. People can appear happy while drunk or acting stupid or goofing off.

But what happens when the club closes? What happens when the friends go home? What happens when the game ends or the “someone” is pressed against someone else? What happens when the buzz or high wears off? What happens when it is just YOU and the darkness and you’re trying to fall asleep? When it’s just you and your own heart beating and your own mind racing? Are you truly happy? Or do you realize in those snatched moments of insecurity and fear that perhaps you aren’t really happy and the reason you keep drinking and clubbing and partying and being with all the “someones” is because you are so desperately seeking happiness and no matter how hard you try you keep coming up short. In those moments of unnerving quiet perhaps you realize that all of the “stuff” you post about is simply an attempt to make everyone think you are happy in order to convince your lonely heart that you really ARE happy.

But there is a better way. There is hope and there is peace. Our hearts were created to search for happiness, love, purpose and peace. Our hearts were created to be filled and satisfied by God alone. When Christ is the center of our hearts and the foundation we build our lives upon, then we can be truly happy, even in the midst of suffering and sadness. Neither the evils, nor the goods, of this world will ever be able to completely satisfy the needs of our hearts, only God.  And during those times of quiet darkness, when you are scared of your aloneness and your heart speaks Truth to your mind, it is there that you will find God. And it is then that your heart will be at peace. Then everything else in life will fall into place, because your center and your foundation will be right.

Dear Jesus, help us to understand that only in You will our hearts be satisfied, that only in You will we be truly happy. And in this knowledge may we reach deeper and deeper in the depths of Your heart, where love and peace dwells. Amen.

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