Monday, October 8, 2012

How Can I Find Happiness?

I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind but now I see.
-- Amazing Grace
Those words from the hymn Amazing Grace tell an amazing truth, if people would open their eyes to it, but many are blind, and those who have been blind forever cannot conceive what sight means.  They may dream of better things for themselves, but they can never dream of what they do not know.  If it were even offered to them, the thought of sight, to those who have never seen, must be a scary thing.  Something so amazingly wonderful yet if they could not conceive how it existed, much less in them, could they really unreservedly want it?  How could they want what they could not see?
That is faith.
The words of that hymn talk about being blind, but now seeing.  They also talk about being lost, but then being found.  I think my thoughts on being forever blind apply equally to someone who has forever lost.  Imagine someone in the deepest jungles of Brazil, who has never seen, nor even conceived of modern man and the modern world.  Could he even conceive of the things we now treat as every day?  Could he imagine the ways of communication or travel or the taming of the earth: huge crop yields, and clean water within his hut?  Although he may love his children and care for his neighbor --- and is cared for --- could he imagine an unconditional love of himself, a love that would want to give him everything? 
Ah, that last one I believe he could.  It is imaged in his parents.  The desire of happiness and peace, and love, are natural to man the world over.  And throughout history mankind has imagined gods or supreme beings or even supreme ancestors, who love them and will do good for them.  But going back to our jungle man for a moment, could he imagine that this supreme being, this God, would come down to earth, to him, and say:  “I am here.  I love you.”  No, I don’t think he could imagine that, a personal God.  Although inside of him he would desire such a love, he could not conceive of himself being important enough to be given it.
In our modern world, we have the same thoughts and fears as that jungle man.  Only, in our modern world, we have so many distractions --- things.  The concept of being blind is unimaginable to us also:  missing something??  How can that be; look at all I have!  I can’t imagine not being able to find happiness, if I can just find the right things or the right person, I can make myself happy.  I can do this; I know it.
Lost?  Don’t be silly!  How can I be lost?  I have my GPS devices.  Not only am I not lost, I can find the satellite internet channel and can zoom into my exact GPS coordinates.  Lost??  Look, on the computer screen, there I am!  I can wave at myself.  Lost?  No, no, no; I know just where I am and where I am going.  And I will get myself there.
Yes, you have all the things at your disposal to make yourself happy, and to find your way to wherever you wish to go.  You are right, modern man.
So, tell me honestly, ----- no, no, don’t tell me, a stranger.  Go into a quiet dark room, close the door, let your breathing relax, be at peace, and now:  tell yourself --- honestly --- that you have everything that you want, and that you are happy.  Tell yourself that you are just where you want to be and have made yourself happy.  If you have been seeking all these things yourself, you modern man or woman, I think if you are honest with yourself you will admit, even with everything you can imagine at your disposal, you haven’t found the happiness you desire.  And you don’t know why; you can’t conceive of an answer.
The problem is that we can’t imagine perfect happiness, anymore than the jungle man can imagine the modern world.  There is always some unfilled longing in us.  And like the blind man, we can’t imagine the happiness of seeing what we have never seen.
These things we want and search for, to earn by our efforts for ourselves, there is a God who would give them to us.  Give them to us; He would do it!  He would find us; He would make us see happiness that we could not imagine.  The man in the jungle can only long for Him, but you, He revealed Himself to you, modern man.  With all that you CAN see and can find, aren’t you looking for Him?  I think the jungle man would think His availability to us an “amazing grace.”  Why don’t you?
How can you find happiness?  Open your mind and your heart, and let Him find you. 
The Catholic Church has declared this a Year of Faith, to discover true faith, and the happiness it brings.  Will you take the time?  Will you let yourself be found?  Will you let yourself be happy? Or can’t you conceive of it?  Reach out your hand into the darkness, and you will see that you are not alone.


  1. I'm not sure if this comment is spam or not, nor the implication of the comment. Are you implying I will find happiness on your blog? Thank you for the invite, Steve, and I will glance your way, but even I don't think my blog will provide anyone happiness. These are just comments, meditations of mine, on the things that make me anxious and/or I suspect make others anxious. As I note on the heading of this blog, although I mention my Catholic faith because it is one of the things which I use to lessen my anxieties, I am seeking no converts with these writings.

    Thanks for dropping by ---- if you did.