If you are the average American, you are probably thinking about what you are going to do with your vacation time this year. A part of living the American dream is taking the family away somewhere each summer. You work hard, grind it out each year, endure a lot of stress but the carrot-on-the-stick is always the summer vacation. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, the majestic mountains, an ocean cruise, a journey to a beautiful tropical island resort or driving across America with the kids in the backseat (another reason to love the seatbelt law). We all look forward to the vacation.
It is kind of ironic how this parallels life. The purpose of the vacation is to replenish our energy banks for another year, go to some beautiful destination and to have happy times around our family. In life, we are in pursuit of happiness with the hope of eternal life with our family in the real paradise called heaven. How great is heaven?
- Matthew 13:44: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."
Jesus Christ is our travel agent & guide in the Big Picture.
You can try to get to navigate to heaven without Christ but you will fail. You may have some good times and see some beautiful scenery. And in our life on this earth, just like in the National Lampoon movie Vacation, you'll see some underwhelming things along the way like the World's Largest Ball of Twine. You'll experience some unfortune like having your hubcaps stolen in East St Louis, sadness and bad timing with Aunt Edna dieing, financial hardship like Cousin Eddie, temptation by the Blonde in the red Ferrari, and the fear and agony of being stranded in the desert like the Griswolds.
- John 1:2-3: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
But in the end, this WallyWorld called heaven won't be closed to believers.
"Good God, Morning!"
If you are in search of happiness, never underestimate the importance of refilling your spiritual bank with the Holy Spirit on a weekly basis by attending church. You should strive to refill it daily.
As Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, do you wake up and say "Good God, Morning!"? Try waking up and saying "Good Morning God" and thanking him for the many ways he has blessed your life--and he has when you take time to think about it. Pray more as praying establishes a friendship with God and Christ.
We can achieve gratification and happiness from things of the world but they are temporary. Why? Ultimately, sustained happiness comes through our Lord.
- Ecclesiastes 2:26: To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Are we there yet?
Are you happy? What is happiness? Being at peace with yourself. Saint Augustine said it best:
"Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord" -- St. Augustine
When we finally arrive at our end destination in this life on earth, we all hope to hear: 'Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master's happiness!'
Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Peace be with you
© Michael J. Cox