‘Happy’ New Year
On the Eve of every New Year these words coming ringing off our lips from our hearts, to our family and friends. And rightly so. It makes sense that we wish one another happiness. Life can be very tough and unforgiving.
It is hard though because ‘happy’ is slippery and falls through our fingers. It is hard to hold onto. Maybe one reason for this is best described by one writer who asked the probing question, “Could there be a connection between your world-view and your capacity to experience happiness?” There may be something to this. Depending on one’s world-view, life could be very circumstantial – we conclude that more money means more happiness. Or if I had a better job, or promotion or could tuck more money away for retirement, I would feel more secure and satisfied and thus I’d be happier. And it seems to work for a while — a day or two, maybe a week if I’m really lucky and then the “happy” dissolves because I can’t save as much or the promotion doesn’t come or maybe someone close to me is not well. So, I’m back to where I was before.
The cycle just repeats itself into a mad cycle of circumstantial conditioning – as long as things happen the way I prefer, I can experience a measure of ‘happy’.
My personal point of view, I will say that life is about something beyond materialism, stocks and RRSP/s. I am convinced that my world-view has just about everything to do with my happiness. My world-view is larger than what this world and life can temporarily provide. This world does not care about making me happy. My world-view is about another world beyond this one and the end result (when I manage to keep my heart focused on it) is discovering happiness regardless of favourable circumstances.
In the 28 years I’ve been an officer, I don’t remember one pastoral experience of walking with people in crisis where they decided that more of something in this world was a solution to their failing health or dying loved-one; they didn’t think more money or promotion would solve the problem of their child in a lifestyle that was destructive. They always looked to something outside the reality of the world-view of materialism, advancement and status. I guess I’m not alone in the idea that world-view has much to do with happiness.
So, in wishing you a ‘Happy’ New Year, what I wish for you is a heart that will be open to explore the possibility that there is something more than this. I wish for you a deep content that will exist for you even if (and I pray this doesn’t happen) you end up in the unemployment line or face a crisis that you cannot control but must walk through. I wish you a world-view that can take you further than favourable circumstances could ever accomplish.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!