I continue to be amazed at how bad we are at determining what will make us happy.
It seems that people are moving through life looking for happiness, making choices that they think will make them happy, only to find them further and further away from being happy. It is really quite sad and disheartening! In search of happiness, we are not very happy.
Just the other evening, I was reminded of this yet again while reading with my sons. We are currently re-reading The Dangerous Journey (The kids version of Pilgrims Progress). One of the early encounters on Christian’s journey is Mr. Worldly Wiseman. At the time of their meeting each other, Christian is still with his burden and has already spoken with Evangelist having been pointed toward Jesus. So at his encounter with Mr. Worldy Wiseman, Christian is on his way to the Gate.
As his name would suggest, Mr. Worldly Wiseman tries to convince Christian that Evangelist is wrong and is simply trying to lead Christian down a road of worthless religion. In his appeal to Christian, Mr. Worldly Wiseman says:
“Hear me – I am older than you – and I’ll give you some advice. In yonder village there dwells a gentleman whose name is Legality; a very judicious man – a man of very good name. He has skill to help men off with their burdens. He has, to my knowledge, cured several who were going out of their wits because of them. His house is not a mile from this place, and if he’s not home himself, his son – who’s called Civility – will help you. Moreover, if you wish, there are houses standing empty in the village at reasonable rates. The food is cheap and good, and you can send for your wife and family, and all live happily together.“
We were reading through this section of the story, and when we came to that part JJ spoke out – “Not Happily!”
I stopped reading. My three sons and I then discussed JJ’s comment in light of Mr. Worldly Wiseman’s message.
There are many voices out there telling us where and how to find happiness. May we be sure to know that apart from Jesus there is no true happiness. And therefore, any voice attempting to convince us to “live happily together” without Jesus should be answered with a certain response –“Not Happily!”