Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Theory #3 Happiness is....

Happiness is........unnecessary? No, I believe it serves a purpose. Self-serving? Most often, its a personal prize. The meaning of life? Definitely not. It's so easy to get caught up in the life-long pursuit of happiness. Obviously, it is something deemed important even by our forefathers, but is it really a fulfilling prize? Happiness comes in many shapes and forms but ultimately it is self-seeking. Also, it tends to be very exclusive. The things that make me happy won't necessarily make others around me happy. It usually only benefits yourself.

So often, happiness has become the underlying motivation behind the majority of our actions.  Yet we are never truly satisfied.  There is always that yearning for something more, something a bit greater than ourselves, something a bit better than what there could ever be.  Happiness never travels alone, it constantly coupled with expectations.  We are happy when our expectations are met and we are unhappy when they are not met.  The problem is: people, weather, circumstances, opportunities, the ice cream flavor of the day, events, and life is rarely as we would have it be.  This results in disappointments which results in unhappiness which results in an insignificant life?  Incorrect. 

The goal of our lives is not to be as happy as possible at all possible moments as we attempt to store up happiness for those unhappy days that always seem to be around the corner and cast a shadow on the happiness that we are happily enjoying in those happy moments. (happy appeared six times in the last sentence if you were wondering)  For me, the goal of my life is to serve my Creator and the one who gave His life to save mine.

All this to say, my third theory of life is as follows: Happiness should not be the center of our lives (it is a nice perk) as it will usually disappoint and can be quite hollow. 

Oh look!  Below are lyrics that wrap it up quite nicely.  You could have just read them instead of my long-winded post. 

"Happiness is overrated
It always lets me down
It's artificially inflated
She's a flirts and she burns me every time
Happiness is just a dream and nothings what it seems"

Happiness by Eleventyseven

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Very Honest Christmas Message

I was thinking about starting this blog off with some blithe remarks on how fast time is going, the beauty of Christmas lights, or how awesome the Thai food was that I just ate this evening.  But honestly, that has nothing to do with what I want to say and will just waste your time.  So enough with pleasant descriptions. 

The truth is, I've lost Christmas in the act of celebrating Christmas.  The busyness of the season has distracted me so that I've spent less time with the person that the holiday is celebrating.  It's ironic and completely wrong.  Unfortunately, this problem isn't limited to Christmas.  I might have just as well have said: the busyness of my life has distracted me so that I've spent less time with the person that my life is supposed to serve.  It is so messed up, it feels wrong even typing it.  I've recently felt very torn with the different relationships in my life.  No matter what I do, I feel that I am disappointing someone.  It doesn't have to be that way.  The selfish head in my voice says "That's right!  If everyone could just adjust and be less demanding and more understanding, then things would be better!" 

Shut up. 

 Changing others is not the way and it won't work.  At this moment, I feel like one of those bendy people I used to play with.  Everything and everyone is tugging me in opposite directions.  I can't keep up this game of tug of war, I'm about to snap.  So I'm giving this inflexible self to God.  I know I can't keep squeezing God into my life anymore. I have to choose if I'm going to go all the way in for God or not at all. So here it is: I've decided to go all the way in.  I feel like who I am in my actions and interactions with others isn't even close to who I am on the inside. I need to make those two match up better and I think giving the whole Chloe to God will do the trick.   I'm giving my whole self to God and I'm going to let Him sort out the relationships.  He can do a much better job than my muddled blumbering has done.

Maybe you feel like me.  Maybe you think that I am insane and should go to bed.  Nevertheless, here is the best gift you will ever receive.  It's freedom from death and sin.  It's not based on works or merit badges. Because you see, God doesn't grade us on a curve. He doesn't grade us at all. We are all share a sinful nature and the punishment of death that should be ours was taken away by the death of Jesus for everyone. Did you catch that? For everyone. Not just the "top ten percent" of humanity, or those with the most gold stars. There is no grading scale for God. You either believe in Him, accept His gift of salvation and spend eternity with God or you deny Him and spend an eternity separated from Him. It isn't based on the amount of good things you've done, the amount of money given to charities, the bad things you've avoided, or even the sins that you've committed (thank goodness).

It doesn't get any better than that.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You'll play lonely games too.

"Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Wheter you like it or not,
Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot."
~Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess~

Fame is exciting, motivating, whimsical, depressing, destructive, and wonderful.  People have gone to the ends of the earth to find it and hold onto it. I love the reality check that Dr. Seuss throws in here.  "Except when they don't because sometimes they won't".  Life can't always be a mountain top view.  Being at the top is fun, but completely unrealistic.  No one gets a free helicopter ride to the peak of the mountains of life.  You have to get out the grapple and hook and start climbing.  And once you get there, what are you going to do? Stay there forever?  In order to move on with life, you must keep moving.  Sometimes that means going back down to the valleys.  Sometimes that means finding an even bigger mountain to climb.  However, it is times "when they don't" praise you and applaud you that really let you live.  Those are the times when you aren't living for someone else.  Those lonely games can teach the most valuable lessons.  God's will and your own personal expectations should be the only benchmarks for success.  Comparing yourself to others won't get you anywhere, expect maybe into a deep abyss of insecurity and unhapiness.  Don't go there.  That is not a neccessary part of the journey.  Rise above the temptation to base your own success on someone else's failure.  Or worse, the temptation to label your own efforts as worthless because of what you see others doing.  It's a waste of time, energy, talent, and a perfectly wonderful you.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Silence is a beautiful thing. It is rare. It means you are alone. Today, people are aloneaphobic. They can't walk down the hallways alone. They can't enjoy an evening alone. Even if they can't find humans, they fill their spaces with noise and distractions and needless communication. No wonder we are so confused as to who we are. The only way we can see who we are is by observing our constant interaction with others. In the end, we base our idea of who we really are off of how we talk, what we say, what we do, and who we are associated with. I can't think of a more innaccurate means of measurement. Where is your heart in all that? How can you tell who you are when you are so busy trying to control how you appear to others? You will turn into that ficticious person. You will cease to exist. Try being alone and then see who you are. When you are alone you can hear your thoughts. What are you thinking? Right now? Close your eyes and stop reading this blog. What fills the empty spaces in your brain? Or do you even have empty spaces? Is your life so full with other people and priorities that there is no room for unintelligble nonsense? Don't let it be. Dream the impossible.