The Pursuit of Happiness?

randomlychad  —  July 4, 2012 — 5 Comments

Happy birthday, America! Today, we celebrate our independence from our British overlords. “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights…”

Including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet a more fruitless pursuit I do not know, for how many do you know who are pursuing that most elusive state known as “happiness?” Especially here in America? We look to that next thing, vociferously defend our rights, thinking what’s on the horizon will bring happiness.

Look no further than our T.V. shows: what is the Bachelor/ette about? Pursuing happiness. I could go on and on and on…

I wish the founding fathers had left out that line, because it’s almost as if that is where we in America are most being tempted… Because like someone moving into a dream home, we’ve found liberty and independence–freedom–brings with it great responsibility. It’s quite a lot of work maintaining a house.

But darnit! All that upkeep gets in the way of our happiness…

Jesus said “Come to me all who weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Happiness ultimately stems not from pursuit, but in letting go.

Happy birthday, America! What can Yes, I understand let go of today?




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • I don’t think the Lord promises us anything close to happiness. He does promise us joy. And that only comes in Him.

    • Amen, Larry! Joy is something else entirely.

  • I think the forefathers recognized that there’s nothing inherently wrong with the pursuit of happiness. Folks have a right to be happy. They also have a right to pursue that happiness.

    The problem lies in what it takes to be happy. If you travel the world, you’ll notice that folks who don’t have much and will most likely never have many material possessions, are happy. Their happiness comes in the little things.

    For Americans, we’ve formed a society that says we’ve got to have it all. The newest gadget, the best and most expensive designer clothes, the fastest car. We have to live in a big house full of big rooms filled to the brim with stuff. We have to have X-amount of $ in the bank, take X-amount of vacations per year, and on and on and on.

    But, as you’ve rightly concluded, happiness does not come from looking to the next thing. It’s in, as you say, letting go. Although I don’t think we necessarily need to let go of the pursuit. I think we need to let go of our stuff and the claim it has on our happiness. We can be happy with less. We simply need to change our mindset.

    • Well said, Denise. It’s all about the object of the pursuit, is it not? What, or Who, are we pursuing, and why?

      • Yep, I would agree. It’s about the who, what, and why.