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The Quest for Happiness is Found in God

 

 

 

By:  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 27, 2016

 

  I wish there was a radio program that I could tune into periodically that would just share good news with me, that’s it.  If you go on the internet, you can go to cuteoverload and look at pictures of cute puppies and kitties.  I think the world is really looking for a little more light-heartedness.  It seems we used to have little doses of joy. 

   I've been talking about reading Little House on the Prairie lately and the fact that they had a dance once a year, that was a big deal.  They weren't surrounded by constant NetFlix and continual entertainment in the form of everything from convertibles, to new clothes, to dances, to parties, to college, to you name it.  They really made do and it does seem to me in reading some of the books of people who lived in previous eras that they were content.  There was a level of happiness and contentment based on simply enjoying life.  Just enjoying being alive, enjoying going through the daily motions, and every once in a while something super exciting would happen, like a dance.  People would get together, play the fiddle and have a square dance.

   When we look back on those days there were admittedly lots of hardship.  For example, they didn't have the medical care that we have today so life expectancy was considerably shorter and some other things that were maybe not as good, such as the fact that they didn't have central heating or indoor plumbing!  We take a lot of or modern technological advances and conveniences for granted that a lot of people haven't had in the past. 

   But, I'm not sure human happiness has taken a tremendous upswing with all of these wonderful new things that we have access to.  If we're going to find happiness, we're probably going to have to create it ourselves.  We're probably going to have to reach out to the things that have caused happiness for human beings throughout all of history and probably not finding that from the things that we're told will bring happiness.  I'm thinking about Madison Avenue's relentless message to us; If you just have the right stuff, you'll be happy.  Big Education has the same message; Just get the right training and get the right job and you'll be happy.  Online dating sites say; Hang out online, find the right person out here and when you find them, then your life will be happy

   Potentially, some of the most unhappy people in the world are those mass murderers who gain notoriety by killing a large number of people before either being killed by the police, or turning the gun on themselves.  There's a tendency to view those people as almost a different species, almost a different kind of creature than we human beings.  I think when we do that we lose an opportunity to learn something and understand something really basic. That is, we are all creatures of God.  We've all been crafted by His hand, we've all been made in His image.  With that said, we all have the potential for either incredible amounts of good or extraordinarily depraved amounts of evil and it's in every single one of us.

   Have you ever gotten so mad, so angry, whether it was when you were two years old and threw a tantrum; maybe it was in a job situation; maybe it was someone who betrayed you; maybe it was someone who cut you off in traffic, you got so mad that you felt you could slam your fist down on a desk or maybe put your fist through a wall.  Those emotions arise in all of us.  That sense of frustration, that sense of hurt and anger, that fills so many of these lost people has visited all of us at one point or another. 

   Some of these lost people believe that if they can only find the love of a beautiful woman, or have a hundred million dollars by winning the lottery, or have a fast car and nice clothes, they can be happy.  But in the end they find those things they perceive to create happiness are elusive and whether they are attainable or not, do not ultimately bring them any happiness. 

   In nearly every case, the thing that is missing in their life, the thing that would fill the void and make them happy enough to become the kind of person that other people would want to be around is a belief in something greater than themselves.  By that, of course, I'm referring to God.  The God who made all of us.  The God who shines His love down upon us.  The God who chastises us.  The God who calls us to account and makes us stand up and actually be the men and women He made us to be.  He's not Santa Clause.  He doesn't shower you with everything you ever want.  He doesn't give you all the money, or the most beautiful girl or boyfriend, but what He does give you is a solid center; a sense of core, a sense of self and a sense of something to aspire to become.  We all have that in the form of Jesus Christ.  We can aspire to be more like Christ.  No matter where you are, what you're doing or what's going wrong you can always do a slightly better job. 

   Those people who spend money on the expensive shirts, sunglasses and fancy cars to become what they think other people want from them are paradoxically moving further and further away from who they can truly become.

   Every time I think about that I think that's what young people need today.  They need faith so that they can believe in God, so that they can believe in themselves and so they can believe in the rest of us. 

   We're all in this together. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission. Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at www.gcnlive.com Katherine’s website is: www.katherinealbrecht.com 

 

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