Bible Society of South Africa
Hennie Symington

A journey of the soul – Day 20

Happiness doesn’t grow on trees

Bible text(s)

25“This is why I tell you not to be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? 26Look at the birds: they do not sow seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds? 27Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?

Matthew 6:25-27GNBOpen in Bible reader

7No indeed! People bring trouble on themselves,

as surely as sparks fly up from a fire.

In Job 5:7, it is written: “As surely as a spark flies from the fire, so sure can a man be of trouble.” “We are not made for happiness,” said Samuel Johnson in 1776, while a psychologist once expressed his surprise when he heard that 20% of the American population regarded themselves as happy. He thought it would be much lower.

How do you measure happiness? One way is to add up the moments of happiness you experience and subtract them from the moments of unhappiness. So, when last did you count your moments of happiness or unhappiness? One author, May Sarton, says in her book Endgame it is silly to expect long periods of happiness alternating with long stretches of unhappiness. Instead, we experience moments of happiness and moments of sadness or unhappiness on and off during the day. Each day contains at least one happy moment – even if it is just watching a bird taking a bath in your garden or your dog welcoming you home after a hard day’s work.

In our daily interaction with our husbands, wives or children, we constantly experience happy moments. We need to take time to make ourselves happy. How about getting up a little earlier in the morning and setting the table for the family to enjoy breakfast together over small talk. It is not about what is said, but about the moments of intimacy you create.

Happiness is not found in books about happiness. Happiness cannot be bought. Happiness cannot grow where negativity thrives. It lies in random acts of kindness and caring. It is finding meaning in the everyday, the simple, the unromantic and the ordinary things we do. In short, happiness means discovering the sacred in the ordinary run of life.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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