Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
What does it mean to be happy? Is happiness something to seek after? Does the Bible say much about being happy?
These are all questions that have come up recently in discussions in our home. After mulling over it for the past few days, I have decided that happiness is not something that one can seek and find. Actually, I decided that the times in my life when I have been most miserable, were the times when I was the most happy. Let me explain.
We have been to Mexico on work trips a few times. Those trips were miserable. Sleeping arrangements were awful...tents in the desert. Showers were bucket showers where the water had creepy crawlies and unknown particles! The heat during the day could and did get up to 115 degrees...nights down to 30. The work was hard. We mixed the concrete for the houses we built, by hand. 4-6 houses were built in 4 days.
I remember getting up around 5 in the morning to the sound of a rooster. I usually sat outside my tent and wrote in my journal, One morning I walked to the edge of our camp to brush my teeth, I looked out over the desolate scrub brush and the thought suddenly came to me that I was happy! Enormously happy!
One particular trip we went on was on a dump site. The people in the area made their living by sorting through stuff on the dump to sell, One day I walked down a dusty road toward the dump. No one was around and all of a sudden I heard something behind me! I turned around and a huge pig (it came up to my waist!) was following me down the road like a puppy dog! At first it scared me. Then I started laughing, I realized that that pig had made me happy!
When I came back from my trip to the dump I told Tommy, "I think I could live here!" And I think I could!
Happy isn't something you search for until you finally find it. Happiness just HAPPENS! All of a sudden it appears before you, like a pig on a dusty road. You can't explain it. You couldn't if you tried. But, all of a sudden you will be walking down a dusty nondescript road (whether literal or fictional) and you find yourself overcome with happiness. It may last the rest of the day or it may be fleeting, but it was worth whatever hardship you went through to reach it.
Tommy said that the beatitudes in the Bible can be translated Happy instead of Blessed.
Happy are the poor in spirit
Happy are they that mourn
Happy are the meek
Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
Happy are the merciful
Happy are the pure in heart
Happy are the peacemakers
Happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake
Happy are YOU when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you on HIS account
Be glad and supremely joyful!
When I think of being happy, I don't usually think of persecution! Maybe the next time I say "I just want to be happy", I should read the Beatitudes again.