Monday, June 7, 2010

I Don't Trust Happiness

Unhappiness is something you can depend on. It will never leave you as long as you continue to embrace it. It will be your constant companion, through thick and thin, through brief moments of elation even. It will be waiting to comfort you as those occasional, but fleeting, feelings of happiness return you to its care. Unhappiness takes little effort, and it comes quite easily to those who seek the familiarity of its presence. It can be like a warm blanket, or an old friend. It can be shelter from the world, or from the wind. Unhappiness will follow you like a shadow, without invitation, and without argument or disagreement. It will cling to your soul like molasses.
Unhappiness can find you unexpectedly, like a package from FedEx sent to you by someone you love, or by a stranger. You only need to sign for it to own it. You could turn it away, I suppose, but how many people really do that? Unhappiness is very difficult to turn away, or to turn away from.
You can trust it.

Happiness, on the other hand, is fickle, it is unreliable, and it is cruel. It will tease you with promise, and try to lure you with faith. Every time you think you find happiness it turns out to be a temporary condition. Every time you think happiness has landed in your lap an unexpected trauma, or calamitous event, will visit you like an uninvited neighbor. Just when you get comfortable with it someone will hurt you, something will overwhelm you, or some unforeseen circumstance will arrive to ensure that your happiness cannot be sustained. Someone will acquire the keys to steal your bliss.
Happiness will only disappoint you.

I don’t trust happiness.
You have to work at happiness, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and even circumstantially. You have to work to overcome the natural gravitation towards its opposition. Happiness doesn’t ever just arrive, at least not freely. There is always some deal it wants to make with you. Happiness is sometimes promised in exchange for your soul, but they say the devil is the one who wants to make that deal.
As far as I can tell, God doesn’t promise happiness. I think He just promises to be with us through the struggle.

Unhappiness comes naturally.
But I think happiness is a learned experience.
It’s not for the indolent, or the unprepared.
As I said before, “It never just happens”.

I’m happy. At least for now.
I don’t trust happiness.
But I do trust God.