#34 Happiness is Not a Vacation Spot – It’s Where You Live
Happiness is a State
Happiness is not a vacation spot. It’s a state where everyone has the opportunity to reside permanently. The state of happiness is analogous to the governed geographical territories where most of us live. And, just like you can go to different localities within a state, you can experience various areas of happiness.
To make this analogy clearer, I’ll use the state of Ohio as an example. Ohio is an integral part of a large group of states, each with its own border, but united to form a great nation. As a result, people from other states can choose to live, work, visit, or vacation in any of Ohio’s different areas. These localities include cities, towns, villages, rural areas, and bodies of water. You can travel to any of these places by various modes of transportation. But, no matter what vicinity you go to, you’re still in the state of Ohio – unless you cross its border.
Areas Within Happiness
Happiness is also integral to something grander – an infinite realm. Similarly, happiness consists of different areas: joy, peace, love, freedom, satisfaction, and contentment. A unique aspect of this state is that you can be in more than one area at a time. So, for example, you may not be joyful in a particular situation, but you can still be at peace and content.
Happiness is More Than a Vacation Spot
Happiness is not a vacation spot or place to visit. It is a state where God wants everyone to live. But more people need to reside there. Instead, many view it as a reprieve from their chaotic lives. They want to be there, but don’t know where it is, don’t have good directions, or don’t use the proper transportation.
Even though we express our happiness through physical actions, it is rooted in in our spirit – our hearts, minds, and souls. Happy people have a joyful heart, peaceful mind, and loving soul.
Direction to Happiness
It’s not always easy to find happiness, especially if you didn’t develop a good guidance system. The most direct route to happiness is gratitude. When you are grateful, you acknowledge that you have something good. And having something good brings joy, satisfaction, contentment, and love to the recipient and the giver.
Transport Yourself to Happiness with Fruits
Unlike physical transportation you would use in Ohio, transit in the state of happiness is spiritual. You reach joy, peace, love, freedom, satisfaction, and contentment via obedience, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (the fruits of the Holy Spirit). Additionally, you must follow certain travel laws to ensure secure and complete happiness. These world-wide rules are Honesty, Empathy, Accountability, Respect, and Trust (HEART).
Happiness’s Invisible Border
When we travel from state to state we cross borders. Most states have multiple borders, but happiness has only one. Its border separates happiness from unhappiness. Moreover, this border is often difficult to discern. There are no visible lines or “Welcome to…” signs that define one state from the other.
The invisible border surrounding happiness is a powerful force that impacts everyone who encounters it. This border is absolute Truth. And like any border, people can breach, disregard, or willingly cross it. People breach and ignore happiness’s boundaries when they overlook, subdue, diminish, bend, redefine, or deny the Truth. Those who willingly cross the border do so because they feel like it. They feel they need to get revenge, control things, worry, or take care of other people’s problems. In addition, many people often feel an impulsive need to indulge the corporeal desires of others or themselves. Unfortunately, the people who cross happiness’s border don’t think about where they are going, how they are getting there, and who they are affecting. As a result, a single border crosser can negatively impact thousands of people.
The State of Unhappiness
Once you cross happiness’s border, you are left in a state of unhappiness because crossing the border means passing over the Truth. Therefore, the Truth does not exist in unhappiness. Furthermore, overpowering the Truth and the excitement of seizing your desires gives you a sense of authority. This self-acquired authority in the absence of Truth gives you the power to create your own Truth.
Relative Truth is Not True
Individually created truths are merely self-made declarations based on the opinions, feelings, beliefs, desires, and preferences of the person who makes them. Therefore, individual Truth relates only to the person who declares it. And this makes that truth relative.
We know that Truth cannot oppose itself. Therefore, if your relative Truth opposes my relative Truth, there is no truth. When Truth is absent, confusion and conflict take over leaving unhappiness’s border open and unlimited.
Unhappiness is Our Nature
It’s easy to slip through unhappiness’s open border. In fact, the emotions of unhappiness are familiar and come easy because we are born there. Have you ever seen a baby at birth smiling and enjoying his/her entrance into the world? We are born with instincts to survive, not thoughts for living happily. Therefore, we must learn how to be happy. And that knowledge must be accurate. Unless we know the Truth, we will continue to live the way we were born – in the natural world of survival, where we constantly experience fear, anger, contempt, shame, and guilt.
Unhappiness Causes Severe Illnesses
The feelings people experience in unhappiness generate more severe physical, emotional, and social illnesses. Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, loneliness, and anxiety are some physical and emotional illnesses. Abortion, addiction, random killings, lawlessness, and fragmented families are just a few social issues that result from many people living in the chaos and limitlessness of unhappiness. There is no safety and security here.
The Truth Keeps You Safe and Secure
In the realm of happiness, the Truth keeps you safe and secure. There cannot be relative Truth for happiness. But Truth is relative to happiness. The more you live the Truth, the happier you will be.
We Have What We Need to Live Happily
God didn’t create us to briefly visit joy, peace, love, freedom, satisfaction, and contentment. Instead, he wants us to live happily now as a prelude to what is beyond this world. Despite the fact that we live in a world where our nature keeps us unhappy, God has given us everything we need to live in the state of happiness in this world. He has given us thinking brains so we can be consciously aware of our attitudes and behaviors, but more so that we can know Him. To know God is to know love.
Absolute Truth Makes Us Free
Moreover, our ability to think allows us to be grateful, obedient, tolerant, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and disciplined – to practice the good fruits of the spirit. As a result, they provide us and others with joy, peace, love, freedom, satisfaction, and contentment. Most of all, God has given us absolute Truth in His word and His son. Absolute Truth makes us free which keeps us happy.
Following Leads You to Happiness
How do we find our way to happiness? Jesus said to his confused and conflicted disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life…” “Follow me.”