Sunday, January 08, 2006

Excuse Me While I Go On Being Happy

Well, it took me just four days to break my one new year's resolution (she says, slapping her wrist). I went ahead and visited a God blog which, in the past, I've only read every four months, or so, since usually there are bitter words written describing churches, pastors and happy-homemaker-type women(!). Usually I'm asking myself, "Why am I even over here?"

So this time, I found a type of post which I've seen in other blogs in increasing frequency. You may have seen one or two similar posts, yourself. It's the old rehashed, regurgitated post which, in my paraphrase sounds like, "Happiness-is-a-bad-thing-because-it-comes-from-getting-what-you-want-but-joy-is-ok-because-it's-from-God-so-if-you-are-happy-you-are-being-carnal-and-fleshly-and-selfish."

Man, I hate that.

I mean, ok... I can understand wanting to be on the cutting edge and questioning what we've been taught since we were babies shaking the sides of our cribs, and yet there is still such a thing as going too far. There is still such a thing as analyzing a thing to death. (Am I the only one who has ever noticed that analyze is, well, uhm, er, like anal-yze?)

And besides, I just dare you to have joy without having any happiness mixed-up in there with it.

The Bible seems to think happiness is a good thing...

"If you know these things, happy are you if you do them." John 13:17

"Behold, we count them happy which endure." James 5:11

"If you are reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you..." 1 Peter 4:14

"Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding." Proverbs 3:13

"...he that has mercy on the poor, happy is he." Proverbs 14:21

(For a hundred more similar verses from the Amplified Bible, click here.)

And please don't give me the old, "Tsk., tsk...Yes, well, ahem! Don't you knoooow that the word 'happiness' in the Greek/Hebrew/Latin/Gnostic/Jupiter/Mars/Garden Gnome text actually means, " Just a confused state of mind when one believes one is glad when actually one is, in reality, only temporarily relieved of the pain which is Life (blah, blah, blah....blah,blah...blah,blah...)."

I'm not buying it.

No, I'm going to agree with the Bible on this one. And I'll agree with this, too:

"Happiness which the world cannot take away only flourishes in the secret garden of our souls. By tending to our inner garden and uprooting the weeds of external expectations, we can nurture our authentic happiness the way we would nurture something that's beautiful and alive." ...Sarah Ban Breathnach

And I like what my favorite teacher says, too, something rather like this, "Having a daily happiness is like living with a calm delight." I like that, probably because that's what I have had--a calm delight-- these recent years since I allowed God to drive His trash truck into my heart and unload the mounds of garbage He unearthed there. That same kind of trash which kept me so overly-introspective, logically-minded and anal-ytically proud that I could never be just plain old-fashioned happy.

"A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." ... John 10:10

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