What’s the greatest threat to the pursuit of happiness? “Doing nothing”, said Frank Bures.
I saw a grown man fight back tears as he shared the immense happiness experienced before Christmas. What was the cause? His heart nearly burst as he handed out presents. “Looking into their eyes as you handed them a present was”…. That is all he could get out before choking up. Friends, such genuine and deep compassion, love, and joy, a.k.a. happiness, is what life is all about. It was a blessing to witness and briefly bask in its aura.
For a moment, just a few moments, he had not just pursued happiness, he caught it. There was no doubt the effort, the time; the money expended was among his best investments ever. That moment frozen in my memory that still warms his heart did not just happen. Weeks previous to Christmas had not found him “doing nothing”, but investing his time building relationships. What a tragedy it would have been had he succumbed to the threat of happiness brought on by “doing nothing”.
Life is more a long obedience in the same direction than one long victory. It resembles one long slog with brief moments of elation. Think Rocky. Sylvester Stallone brought the movie theatre to its feet when he defeated Apollo Creed. His brief minutes of exultation followed months of training, introspection, reflection, determination, and hope that he could win. No one believed victory was possible but him and the love of his life, Adrian. His moment of victory was followed by an emotional plateau, then back to training for his next fight.
Today may be a moment of elation or a pang of fear that life will never improve. Remember, whatever you are experiencing right now can be enjoyed again or lifted from the inky darkness to the summit of daybreak only if you do “something”. “Doing nothing” is not an option if happiness is the goal.
So what areas could stand more happiness in your life? What is your action plan? The hardest step is the first one and realistic expectations usually are the only ones that endure. So start small, but start. Listen carefully to the guidance of the One who has a wonderful plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11) and will make it happen with your approval and cooperation.