Though it is the season to be merry and the shops and malls are filled with myriads of people, so are our hearts filled with fear. With the New Year just around the block we wonder if the coming year will be "good" to us. We fear for our finances, we fear the so-called "recession", we fear what tomorrow may bring. Some even fear their own "shadows".
Despite the lights on the tree or the little (or huge) Christmas celebrations our hearts are not REALLY at peace. We are unsure of the future. The global financial news terrifies us, terrorism scares us, we worry if and HOW will we ever survive.
What we do NOT notice however is that the "economic situation" has in a sense given us a better perspective of family, friends and community. More than ever, it is on this Christmas that we have learned that with LESS than we used to have, we can still find joy in the celebration of the birth of the Saviour. Nevermind if the "feast" isn't the way it used to be, we now begin to focus on intangibles-- members of our family, friends,health and house mates who have made our routinary lives richer.
Then we start to learn that we aren't happy because we win a hundred million pesos or more in the lottery. Neither are we happy because we have that new LCD television set or Wii Nintendo that we desire to have. Or the latest cellphone. We begin to think a bit more rationally and realize that "stuff" and "things" do not bring us happiness. They may make us merry for a while, but when we ponder at what we do NOT have we learn that it is the "intangible things" which can bring us real joy.
WE all desperately seek to be happy, yet happiness seems to elude us.
Why? Because it is not a situation or a thing that we want which can give us real happiness. It is stressful to keep on "running" to pursue our ideal of what "our happiness" should be. Perhaps we should relax instead and take things as they come and not add to the daily stress in life by "running after" happiness.
Yet,it is in passively taking things as they come and leaning on faith when we find real joy. It may mean that we have to stop wanting too much, quit expecting too much from the world (and mankind), not thinking that "stuff" and "things" is the "key" to our personal happiness.
Why is OUR happiness important anyway? Well, because it really is. No one wants to live unhappy.
Yet the secret of happiness is NOT to pursue it. Someone once said that happiness and joy comes to people who seek the least from life. Maybe like a dove, when one grasps joy too tightly in the hand, it flies away instead?
What do you think? Is happiness supposed to be sought after so desperately or does it gently come into our lives because of waiting in faith instead of wanting in fear?