Aimless Happiness

Reading Beginning to Pray, I was struck by this passage:

“When I found myself confronted with perfect happiness, a quite unexpected thing happened. I suddenly discovered that if happiness is aimless, it’s unbearable. I could not accept aimless happiness. Hardships and suffering had to be overcome, there was always something beyond them. But because it had no further meaning and because I believed in nothing, happiness seemed to be stale.”

I relate to this. I find myself always eager for the next thing.

“If I could only finish medical school. If I could only find an amazing husband. If I could only have a child. If I could only be a stay at home mom.”

Desire after desire have been satisfied. Each one is pleasing. But none of them really makes me content. There is joy, but not fulfillment.

I don’t think I am alone here. In America we have so many options to entertain ourselves and occupy our time. We are encouraged constantly to keep up with the latest fashions and trends. With each new desire there is the hope that this will really make me happy.

I wonder what it looks like to seek contentment in each moment. To say “I know I don’t have what I want but I am going to set my heart of being happy with what I have.”

I think Bloom would say that, in itself,  probably is not enough. That just having a good attitude will wear us out. But that we are able to be happy at all times only because God is in all things and as we know God our happiness continues to grow because God is infinite.

2 Comments

  • Shannon Reply

    Ugh, the “if onlys” and the “whens”. I suffer from them too and haven’t found the way out yet except to just keep coming back to check myself.

    Eric and I are both enjoying this book. I have appreciated everything Bloom says in Chapter 1 about not “feeling” God. Good for my heart.

    • egjarrett Reply

      Shannon, thanks for your thought. Our new house has been especially challenging. I have to fight the internal dialogue b that says “I just don’t like it here, I would be happy if we could just be somewhere else.” But I know once we move there will be something else that ‘has to’ happen before I can be happy. Learning to be content is a daily struggle.

      I love how Bloom writes, how he just says these really heavy and profound things and doesn’t try explain all the details, he just challenges you to experience it for yourself.

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