Thunker’s Weblog

A Life Worth Living
September 15, 2017, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, LDS, Mormon, religion, Uncategorized

Robert Wheadon-126x150

I’m a stubborn learner.  Usually, it takes a few times of me banging my head against a problem before some light seeps into my brain.  For example, it took me a long time to figure happiness out.  For years I used to search for happiness in school, or books, or McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.  Fortunately, I have finally figured out while I still enjoy learning and reading and the occasional double cheeseburger, my peace, my contentment, my happiness, are not anchored in those things.  I think we all follow the path of happiness = things at various times in our lives.  On a daily basis, we are saturated with media-driven promises of pure joy if we would only buy these shoes, or this car or that tweedle-thwacker, (whatever that is.)  What really happens though is we end up wanting more stuff,  and because Amazon only delivers once a day, the sparkle quickly wears off, and we are left winterized in our discontent.

Another common happiness trap is when we tie our happiness to people.  This is where we place the responsibility for contentment on the shoulders of someone else.  Usually, we place it on a spouse or significant other.  Sometimes it is a friend or even a pet.  Invariably, however, friends, spouses, and even my dog, Keela, disappoint and hurt us.  It’s not that people usually try to disappoint.  It’s just that they are busy and have their own lives to figure out.  They can’t be responsible for our happiness on a 24/7 basis.  How exhausting would that be?

I’m learning that peace, contentment, and well-being lay in two places.  The first place exists between my ears.  I know most of you think that area is vacant and ready for renters, but I can assure that my cranial area is busy and buzzing.  With what?  With my deciding to be responsible for my own happiness.  My contentment is my responsibility.  I choose.  Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness;  only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate;  only love can do that.”  The point is that if I am unhappy with my lot, I cannot drive it away with things that do not bring lasting peace.  But I can improve my lot by bringing light and love into my world perspective.  It is within my power to seize the day, (carpe diem,) or not, (carpe diem malum.)

The other source of happiness I think can be described by everyone’s favorite Biblical general, Joshua.  In the Old Testament, in the 24th chapter of Joshua, we find our glorious leader calling all the tribes of Israel together.  He then relates to them the story of the nation Israel.  He goes over Abraham leaving his father’s house, along with his father’s pagan gods and going to Canaan.  He then moves on to Israel’s time in Egypt and how God rescued Israel from slavery.  He then relates Israel’s successful crossing of the river Jordan, and God being the guiding force behind Israel’s victories in Canaan.  Joshua is reminding Israel of this history, in part, because there are lots of options on whom they can worship.  Israel was still very familiar with the Egyptian gods, having been exposed to the Egyptian pantheon for several centuries.  The people living in Canaan also had their deities, which were available for worship.  Israel had lots of options on where to go for spiritual contentment.  Joshua reminds Israel in verse 15:  “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” In practical terms, we know serving the Lord translates into serving each other with love and honesty.

So, let’s find our focus and our God.  Being happy in life is our choice.  It is not dependent on circumstances.  Happiness depends on you.

Remember: Be kind, make good memories and come back soon.


2 Comments so far
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Another great blog of thoughts that I love.

Comment by Sydney Wheadon


Comment by thunker

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