Oh happiness, there’s grace,
Enough for us and the whole human race
-David Crowder

Sometimes we just make it more complicated than it should be… than it has to be.  Can you relate?

We’ve long ago learned that money and things don’t buy it, though that doesn’t seem to stop us from trying.

Technology promises to serve it up, but that server keeps crashing… hard.  Of course, that won’t stop us from lining up for the next iThingy when it comes out (complete with a three-year service plan and a monthly charge).

Love?  Can’t love do it?  Sure, depending on whose definition you’re talking about.  Honestly, most people’s definition of love would complicate a two-car funeral or reduce the rest of the world to service providers.  And can you really be happy when the people around you are so miserable trying to keep you satisfied?

Yeah, I know.  It’s complicated.

We’re like the parents of that preschooler who just spent hundreds on that latest gotta-have-it toy with its techno-wizardry, who are mystified that the kid just wants to play with the box.  And he’s having a blast with the box, while the exasperated parents keep shoving this strange, noisy thing in his face trying to get him to be happy.

Most of us, though, have trained ourselves to look past the simple source of creative imagination (the box) and demand that the latest products or people provide us the happiness we demand.  And we never quite arrive at what’s advertised… at least not for very long.

Maybe we’re looking in the wrong place.  Maybe it’s time to go back to the box.  Maybe it’s time to unplug – to go from “batteries not included” to “no purchase necessary.”

Maybe it’s time to rediscover the beauty of Simple Happiness.  And you’ll find it:

In the secure grasp of a dawning hope.

When the early light of day finds you secure in your hope for the future, regardless of the day’s upcoming stresses, that’s simple happiness.  And when that hope can carry you past the futility of this life because you’re a citizen of an eternal kingdom, why would you look for satisfaction anywhere else?

In the quiet gladness of a healing soul.

When you can find a listening heart in your times of sadness, and a Faithful Companion in your moments of grief, that’s simple happiness.  Living in a broken world, pain is inescapable.  But there’s also a comfort that’s irreplaceable, and there in the healing you’ll find even more than you bargained for.

In the gentle thanks of a blessed life.

When you can look at your life through the lens of gratitude and recognize that all of it is a gift in some way, that’s simple happiness.  When you let go of the demands to always have more and celebrate what you have experienced to this point, you open your heart to receive even more.

In the deep fulfillment of a perfect love.

When you can find Someone who truly loves you without conditions or disclaimers and rest in that love, that’s simple happiness.  We all were created with that deep longing, and though sometimes it’s hard to trust it when it shows up, the simple truth remains:  you are loved with an everlasting love.

In the patient grace of a steadfast friend.

When you find those people who forgive your failures, endure your quirks, and remain your friend for the long haul, that’s simple happiness.  These are the ones who will stand guard over the relationship, even when you’re rummaging through the lost and found of a fickle world of notions and fads – and they’re priceless.

In the flaming passion of a focused heart.

When you can say with Paul, “This one thing I do” with such passion that it lights a contagious fire in others, that’s simple happiness.  A restless world always seeks to hedge its bets and roam from place to place in search of more.  Oh what a gift, to know who you are and what your life is about.

In the watchful beacon of a guiding light.

When you can find your way in a dark world because the Light of the World is guiding you home, that’s simple happiness.  Unhappy people tend to want to light their own way or figure out all the turns on the path before they move forward.  But to have enough faith to take the next step and trust that the light will be there when needed to move forward is a liberating gift.

In the rugged strength of a good conscience.

When you can breathe deeply of that “grace enough for the whole human race” and know your conscience isn’t accusing you, that’s simple happiness.  When you surrender to the hopelessness of trying to be somebody you aren’t, and embrace who you are – not as perfect, but as forgiven – you’ll find the strength to withstand the most blistering critic of all – yourself.

 

Don’t  be surprised or discouraged if, when you’re enjoying this Simple Happiness, somebody keeps shoving some strange, noisy stuff in your face, telling you that’s where the real joy is found.  They just don’t know any better.  Just keep enjoying that box.  And know that you are loved.  Hopeful.  Healing.  Blessed.  Forgiven.  Called.  Guided.  Free.

And you are never… ever… alone.

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