Choose Happiness

woman holding book and robot doll
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/missrogue/457911556/">Tara Hunt</a>

1 John 2:7-11

Dearest friends, what I’m writing to you isn’t anything new. It’s the same instruction you’ve always had. It’s the same idea you’ve heard before. Or, maybe it is a new instruction, but it’s nevertheless the truth: true for him, true for you. The night is over, and the true dawn is already breaking. Whoever says, “I’m enlightened,” but hates a brother or sister, isn’t. They’re in the dark. People leading enlightened lives love. Such people won’t trip you up. But a hater is in the dark. Haters live in the dark, blinded and lost.

Someone once said that there are two kinds of people: there are the kind of people who divide people into two kinds of people, and there’s everybody else.

John is the first kind. Chances are we’ve all had some experience in both camps, as lovers and haters. One of the complicated aspects of being human is that people have the capacity for both. But, it may be possible to discern that people are bent or predisposed toward one direction or the other. And some cases are more clear than others.

In the final analysis, though, lovers win. Haters can make lovers’ lives miserable for a time, even a long time. But if you’re really a lover, you’ll find things to love in spite of the haters, and the joy that comes with loving is its own reward. And since it comes from within, the haters can’t ever really take it away.

But the closest haters can come to joy is a passing glee that needs constantly to be regenerated from the outside. The only laughter, the kind that comes at someone else’s expense. Which is why, no matter how much stuff some folks collect, no matter how obliging the people around them, or how great their empire, they’re still dissatisfied, restless, and mean.

Enlightenment is a choice. Happiness is a choice. They are both consequences of a choice one makes (and making it is a continuous act) about how to dispose your heart.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Flower
Photo Credit: Christine Cimala

Matthew 6:25-34

So, I tell you, don’t worry about the necessities of life, food, drink, clothing. Life is so much more than that! Look at the birds! They’re not warehousing food, and yet, they never go hungry. Don’t you think you’re smarter than a bird? Do you think you can extend your life by worrying yourself to death? And look at the flowers! They’ve only got one outfit; they didn’t agonize over it, and Prada can’t even come close to matching it! Think about it. If a flower that’s beautiful today but wilted tomorrow has it that good, don’t you think you’ll be alright? Get a grip!

So, don’t ask what you’ll eat, or drink, or wear. Everybody’s running on the hamster wheel after all that stuff. God knows, you’ve got needs. But if you’re focused on the goal and doing right the rest will work out. Don’t worry! If you’re constantly thinking about tomorrow, you’ll miss all the life that’s happening now!

Jesus. Bobby McFerrin. The experts agree.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU]

 

‘Nuf said.