Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hunting for Happiness

        Of course, I peeked. As the packages arrived via mail or UPS I unwrapped them and set gifts on the table in the dining room. Of course, I could then reuse the wrapping paper and pretty bows for someone else’s presents.
        I must say that time is running out; my birthday is only five days off, and disappointment has made its home on my face.
        The presents so far include a new one-handed can opener from Mom, a fuzzy brown knit scarf from Judy, green-handled pliers from Don, and an indoor-outdoor thermometer from Ed. Oh, well; I’ll see what today brings.
        After a rerun of last night’s leftovers, green chili burros topped with sour cream, I stretched out on the couch for a few minutes.
        The doorbell rang, and it was a delivery. Hoo-boy, a big box! It turned out to be a box of Thankfulness. Inside was Roof Over My Head, two week’s supply of Groceries, and a bottle of Good Health. The giver was God, and yes, I bowed my head right then to thank Him for these gifts.
        The afternoon flew by as I ran the vacuum cleaner and disrupted some dust particles throughout the house. Yipes! It was time for the evening news on TV. I felt that it was my duty to remain informed, even though the news around the world was mostly bad.
        Again, scanning those presents I did recall that God has given me a bountiful measure of Safety and Protection, and Provision of Income. Again, I whispered a prayer to Him.
        Later, for some reason as I went in the bedroom to turn on the electric blanket before bedtime I glanced at the vanity mirror and was shocked to see a scowl on my face. What was the matter?

        Time to give myself the present of Honesty, I realized. Sitting at my desk in front of the computer I first checked the email, then scrolled through the weather site. Finally, I owned up to my feelings. Of all the presents so far there was no Happiness.
        Yes, I already knew that there was a difference between Happiness and Joy. In church we sing some hymns and songs that mention Joy. When you have prayed to ask Jesus into your heart you receive His joy; of course, you’re on your way to eternal life in Heaven. But I realized now Happiness was missing. I had it awhile back; what happened?
        With an online Bible program I could easily scan for what I wanted, Happiness. There were no verses in the old KJV, and only one in the new KJV. I clicked to open the Contemporary English Version that my friend Darrell had mentioned. Happiness is used in 35 of the verses, and one in particular jumped off the page into my seeking eyes. Wow!
        “I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.” It was Romans 15:13. If people in those days needed that message, so I needed it today.
        It was time to renew my commitment, “Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit, so I can share with others the peace and hope and happiness that come from You.”
        Hunting for happiness brought me a lesson in prayer and trust and obedience.
+ + +