Wishing for Happiness
As a very young child, I would wish for different things, a fun new toy or a special treat was probably what made the top of the list. Life was simple and sweet. As the years wore on, I learned that life wasn’t quite so simple. I learned that living in this world could sometimes be very hard. People and animals were suffering and dying. Not all people were kind, compassionate and empathetic. And sadly enough, that there were horrors that were beyond the scope of a little girls imagination.
I remember coming home from elementary school one day, horrified that some day the Earth would end in a fiery ball called a red dwarf. I went to my Dad worried sick about all of the people that would die. My father tried to reassure me that it wouldn’t happen in my lifetime. The sun wouldn’t explode for a loooong time. Still, I worried about the people who would be alive when the sun engulfed the Earth.
I started to worry about everything. I would find hurt or dying animals and bring them home to save them. Often, saving them was beyond my skills and I would bury them in my yard. My pet cemetery grew blackberry bushes over it as a gift from my fallen friends.
I worried about the children in other countries who were dying from starvation and disease. I worried about people hurting and polluting the Earth, our home. I worried about the amount of salt we ate and the amount of coffee my Dad drank because my school told me they were bad for our health. I’d lie awake at night thinking about all of the horrible stories I’d read about concentration camps. I’d worry about strangers trying to kidnap me or get me to buy drugs.
Eventually, I started wishing on stars and birthday candles and certain times(12:34 and 11:11) for something other than treats and toys. I started wishing for happiness. I wanted to be happy. I was so sad and worried all the time that I was quite a serious child. I wanted the whole world to be happy. I wanted everyone to be safe and healthy, loved and happy.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had stopped wishing for happiness. It has been so long that I don’t even remember the last time I made a wish. Why? It’s because I AM happy. What a wonderful thing. So I came to this conclusion:
Happiness is the result of finding purpose in life.
I’ve spent most of my life wishing for happiness. It wasn’t until I stopped searching for happiness and focused on finding purpose that I realized I had also found happiness.
For me, my solution has been finding and getting to know God. My aspiration has been to learn as much as I can about God through the bible. I have been studying the bible for the past 5 years and doing weekly bible studies and going to Sundays services for the past few years. I have never in my life found anything else that gives me as much satisfaction, and purpose as this.
If you haven’t yet given the bible a chance, you might ask why? I honestly never used to give much thought to God and the bible. I thought God was like a Santa Claus for adults. I thought the bible was an old outdated book of stories, mere fantasy like fairy tales.
The idea that some benevolent, omnipotent spirit created the Earth seemed far-fetched to me. I had been taught evolution in school. The world taught me to scoff at the notion of believing in things I couldn’t see. I was extremely critical and predisposed to evidence-based facts.
In spite of this, I was searching. I wanted peace on Earth. I needed answers to fulfill my spiritual side. I researched peaceful religions and people who seemed to have answers. I wanted to find answers to the questions that seemed burned into my very being. Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? Why is there such evil in the world? I wanted to feel complete.
I liked to think of myself as open-minded and tolerant of all religions. Although all of the religions I researched had bits of wisdom, a lot of them had things I was skeptical about. I never felt fully committed and invested in them. In my search, I even tried reading the bible by myself once or twice. Unfortunately, it was all over my head. I gave up and didn’t bother to try again.
Then one day, a girl showed up at my door and asked how I was coping. At the time, I was dealing with a stressful situation. Wary of strangers, especially with the modern prejudices of strangers carrying bibles, I was polite but hesitant. Those I knew cracked jokes and told me what they would do if someone showed up at their door with a bible. They gave me advice on how to be rid of this “problem.”
I was unsure of what to think. I was curious about the literature left by this sweet girl and yet, everyone I knew made a mockery of such things. I must admit that I wasn’t ready to commit to anything more than friendly chit-chat. My sweet Jehovah’s Witness continued to stop by and bring me new magazines. She didn’t give up on me and for that, I am eternally grateful.
I have heard this quote that makes me think of my journey to find happiness. Why wish on stars when you can pray to the one who created them? I no longer wish for happiness on stars because I have a relationship with our heavenly father, Jehovah. Through him, I’ve found all the happiness I’ll ever need.