When Are We Happy?
When the Lord's will becomes our will, we are happy, for we begin to know the Lord in our daily life. Do we think that Jesus went happily to the cross, or that He went happily from the garden where there had been apparently so little consideration of what the moment meant as He wrestled with self? With all the sadness that this experience gave Him, He was happy in knowing that He would show the world a way out of sin. Do we worry over the shortcomings of those we love? How was He with those He loved? He gave them only His blessings, never His censure. As we follow His example we are happy.
Moments of discouragement will arise in our experience. We may expect them; such seem necessary for our training. It need be that offenses come, but woe to that one by whom they come. Let mercy and patience keep each of us lest we forget our opportunities.
Happiness is found in the mind and heart of those who without thought of self seek to know the way of God. It cannot be bought. It cannot be learned. It must be earned. No one can take it from us, but we may. through misuse, lose it. Let our daily prayer be:
Our Father, our God, in my own consciousness let me find happiness in the love of Thee, for the love I bear toward my fellow man. Let my life, my words, my deeds, bring the joy and happiness of the Lord in Jesus to each I meet day by day. 262-106
Pleasure Is Not Happiness
How often we confuse pleasure with happiness. We see those of the world seemingly enjoying every pleasure that luxury can give, yet many have sad faces and heavy hearts.
Pleasure is of the world; it is something outside of us. It is fleeting, deceiving and unsatisfying. It gives no reward but asks a heavy toll as we pass over the bridge of unrealized dreams. Solomon declared, "I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits... Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and... then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness."
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Let us think on the difference between pleasure and happiness, for they are as the material and the spiritual. Through pleasure we seek to gratify physical desires, but when we have lost sight of self in the appreciation of love, beauty and hope in the Creative Forces, may we indeed know happiness.
The road to Gethsemane, to the minds of those who looked upon their own Gethsemane, was a road of thorns. Yet the Lord's kind words, spoken on the way to His Calvary, brought happiness to a dying world, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Happiness is found in Infinite and Divine Love. Infinite Love is the love of God. Love Divine is that manifested by those who in their activities are guided by infinite love. They are one in Him. They bring happiness, not mere pleasure as is found in material things.
We should find happiness in just sowing the seed. Some will fall on stony ground, to be sure; some by the wayside, some among the thorns and briars; but many will fall on good soil. Then we must keep the faith, knowing that God gives the increase.
We must show ourselves worthy of Him who will guide us in our daily activities. Our greatest opportunities for service are found in being kind, speaking gently, and smiling often. Let the love of the Father through such activities shine in our life day by day. Then the clouds of doubt will dissipate.
If we put first things first, with the proper evaluation of material, mental, and spiritual forces, our life will be a life of harmony, happiness, and joy. Others will be aware of our relationships to our God as we patiently sow the seeds of love.
Truth brings freedom, and freedom brings happiness. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." In truth we do not bind others, neither do we exalt self.
Selfishness is the only sin. All others are just modifications of the expression of the ego. So close is the ego, the I am, to the Great I Am, thatthe confusions of duties and privileges and opportunities become enmeshed in our experiences. Many of us in the turmoils of life have lost sight of the proper evaluation of our activities in our relationship to individuals as well as to groups, and fail to consider it our duty to give the help which might enable others to overcome sorrow, fear or worry.
Then if we would have life, we must give life; if we would have friends, we must be friendly. In fields of activity let us draw nigh unto that which is good and think not only of material gains, but of how great a service we may be to our fellow human being! For in so doing we serve our Maker. (See 267-182.)