Finding happiness where we are today | Worship

By Mark Smith, Mukilteo Presbyterian Church | May 07, 2014
Mark Smith

Have you ever thought, “If I could only go to some new place, get a new start, change environments, then life would be better. Then I would be happy”? A lot of people try to solve their difficulties by doing just that.

They actually move to another geographical location. They change jobs. They enter into new relationships. They think that by doing all this, they will find the ideal environment – a place where they can be happy at last.

The trouble is, they become just as unhappy as before and disillusionment sets in. Life gets just as tangled in the new place as in the old one. And they wonder why.

To state the obvious, there is no such thing as an ideal environment where everything is perfect. Will Rogers said that, now and then, he grew tired of the same old surroundings and would wish for a new place to live and work. He said that he would pick some city that sounded attractive.

Before he moved, however, he would subscribe to the leading newspaper in his proposed new home and read that newspaper for 30 days. Rogers declared that he would always decide not to move. The news from where he planned to be was no better than the news where he was.

There is no paradise on Earth. But even if we could find the ideal place – the trouble-free utopia we dream about – it wouldn’t remain ideal or trouble-free for very long, for we carry our problems with us.

The truth of the matter is happiness is to be found right where we are, if we will but face those problems within and not run from them.

Several years ago on a radio talk show, a listener called in and made an interesting observation. He said, "Everywhere I go I hear people say they are trying to get away from it all. I'm not," he said, "I'm trying to get into it."

That made me think. We don't find happiness by getting away from our problems. Happiness comes from 'getting into' our problems, facing up to them and going to work on them.

Maybe that means getting brutally honest with ourselves, acknowledging our own failures and shortcomings, seeking God’s forgiveness and a new beginning.

Maybe that means seeking professional counseling. Maybe that means enlisting the support and encouragement of others who care about us. Maybe it means working on our attitude, appreciating what we have, rather than lamenting all the things we lack.

The Apostle Paul said that he learned the secret of being content and happy, even though the circumstances of his life were far from ideal. He said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Paul had lots of trouble in his life, but he didn’t run from them, looking for some utopian paradise. He found strength and joy within – Christ in his heart.

Looking for happiness? It is not out there somewhere – it is within, right where you are.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.