Monday, June 4, 2007


"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live." - Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:12

Recently, around the campfire on our backpacking trip, the subject of happiness came up. We were talking about what it was that we all wanted in order to be "truly" happy. Does God want us to be happy? Is it his will for us? I wonder if it something that we can ever truly attain by our own work, or something that just kind of "happens" when we are least expecting it. Think about this question for a moment: what would make you truly happy?

It seems to me that we are always chasing the next big thing that would make us happy. When I was in high school, I thought that a car would make me happy. When I was in college, I thought that a wife would make me happy. Soon after, a house. After that, good marks in seminary. All of these things I have achieved and they seem to have made me happy - for awhile. But it seems there is always something else to obtain . . .

Maybe we'd be a lot happier if would just enjoy the things we have now, and not the things we hope for. By always looking towards the future (something I am so guilty of), we miss the ability to truly enjoy the things that should make us happy now. It's like we sabotage our happiness. I wrote a short list of things that should make me happy:

1. My health.
2. Being at peace (and loved) by God.
3. Money in my bank account.
4. My beautiful wife and children.
5. My family on both sides.
6. My tent (seriously, I love my tent)
7. All of my outdoor experiences.
8. Great friends.
9. A promising future.
10. A safe and prosperous country to live in.

My goal is to let myself be happy now. What is the secret to happiness? I am searching. I've finished reading the Psalms and so now I'm going to start Ecclesiastes. Solomon too went on a great search for happiness . . .

May Light increase!


Chad said...

sounds like you had a good backpacking adventure, and to top it off had some good discussions. you'll probably like my latest post, its a adventure too. thanks for the encouragement.

Mark said...

Chad: Checked out your post, that was a crazy trip! I'm curious to know what you got out of it. And yes, I find that these kind of trips (outside of our usual environment) with friends takes me to the deeper places. I find it easier to be authentic outdoors too.