On Not Pursuing Happiness
If happiness is your goal,
you have come to the wrong planet.
Go back to God and ask him
for a transfer. I’m sure
there are places where happiness
is a basic condition,
but it is not here.
It is good to fit the goals
to the environment.
When King Solomon asked for an understanding heart
he was thinking of the people he ruled,
the people he judged, day by day.
He did not ask for happiness.
This is not to say that there is no happiness
here on earth. There is. But it comes
unbidden, it cannot be striven for,
it is a byproduct of other quests.
Ask then for something that serves the spirit.
At the right time, happiness soothes the spirit.
At the wrong time, happiness deludes the spirit.
Wanting to be happy, expecting to be happy,
being disappointed when you are unhappy,
all these things are small change,
a leaf held against the sky during an eclipse,
a tiny sun-silhouette, nothing more.
I’m sounding like a sermon, I know.
I woke up this morning feeling terrible.
I am blessed. There is much happiness in my life.
Feeling terrible reminded me that feeling terrible
can open many doors.