I was reading a book review about propoganda developed by the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. The head of a trade-union committee says that happiness comes from materialism. That made me stop-and-think. Really? You’ve got to be kidding. Like those bumperstickers that say ‘He who dies with the most toys… Wins’! Really?
As a financial planner for 20 years, I dealt with lots of people who had lots of money. I can honestly say that any happiness they had could not be directly attributed to their net worth. Not at all. Having very little money is a terrible struggle. Providing for a growing family increases the stress level dramatically, especially at a time of stagnant wages and increasing costs in most of the basic areas of life. Because I have more money and things than I had 10 years ago, makes me none the happier. Less stressed in some ways, yes. Can take advantage of more opportunities in life than I could when I had no extra money, of course. But, happy?
In 1983 I found myself alone in life. Brand new career, no guaranteed income, on commission only. I saw my sons every other weekend from Friday night until Sunday evening. And then times in between, doing paper routes with both boys for many years. Had to save for 5 years to take them back East to see my family. We traveled to New Jersey or Florida as family couldn’t or wouldn’t travel West where we lived.
After a bit, I was making more money than I ever imagined. Didn’t take much really to outdo a pastor’s salary! I can tell you what gave me the most happiness in my life. You can guess. Being with those boys of mine. Stocking up on food that I knew they loved. Taping television shows we would watch together and laugh at uproariously! I would relish looking back to the fun I had having some of their friends over to my apartment…with me the goofiest of all! And looking forward to their next visit.
I always made it a hard-and-fast rule to never, ever schedule anything, business or otherwise, that would interfere with my time with my sons. With them, I was happy. Can still remember the happy feelings I had then.
Reading Luke 22: 14- 15, I have a new understanding of what Jesus is talking about. What makes Him happy? ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you…’ The apostles with Him. We make Him happy! What an honor! Knowing that, don’t you want to give Him more of your time?
Prayer: Lord, we love being with You, especially knowing how happy that makes You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.