Thirtieth. The moment when midlife crisis strikes for real and feeling ‘scared’ for your future is just an understatement.A procrastinating career. A demanding job. A competitive yet indifferent environment. When you feel that life shakes you. When your dream flops and you are still single. When you feel like nobody in the erstwhile dreamland you thought you were in. Being thirty is definitely a way different few months ago. Happiness weighs more than just a word.
Knowingly or unknowingly, happiness is everyone’s pursuit.We work for love, or money, or power. All these are pointing towards happiness. In philosophy, The Greatest Happiness Principle, which is the basis of utilitarianism, states that actions are considered moral when they promote utility and immoral when they promote the reverse. Utility itself is happiness in the absence of pain. Sages have spoken.
In Andy Stanley’s 5-Day Devotional Book, the Enemies of the Heart, he pointed out the four enemies of the heart. These are guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. We should break free from all of these enemies which keep us from being happy in the perfect sense.
But what happiness really means?Is there such thing as secret to happiness?
If our focus is on trying to find our happiness by acquiring something in the future, then we will never experience true happiness – a perfect sense of satisfaction and contentment.
The truth is that happiness is not a thing to be achieved, but a secret to be discovered.
In the Holy Scriptures,the Apostle Paul shares the secret to happiness. He writes:
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13)
Paul’s life had significant emotional, spiritual and physical pain. He was beaten several times, his friends have deserted him, and he was not sure if he was going to be executed. Yet he was content.
As I was enlightened by this verse, I felt so ashamed of myself. I have been so greedy and jealous that I felt God owes me my success, my happiness. Like Paul, I can be happy regardless of the circumstances. I just have to trust in the Lord who gives me strength, through Christ.
You can be happy, too!