Living in this world, we can’t always be happy and we can’t always be disappointed.
I like being practical about the teachings of Jesus. Because if you pay enough attention, you’ll realize how Jesus’ teachings make so much sense for everyday life.
Luke rendered an event that took place between Jesus and a Pharisee named Simon (not the fisherman):
“Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.” (Luke 7:40-43)
If you give two men, each a million dollar. The first man is a billionaire. The second man only had about five dollars to his name, buried in his pocket with no hope of any paycheck ever coming. Which of the two, do you think would be the happiest man to receive that million dollar fund? I think the second man would have tears flowing down his cheek, while the first man would probably say thanks and move on as if nothing substantial ever happened.
Happiness is what we experience when we’re moved from a bad to a good experience. Disappointment is the opposite. We go through disappointment when things go in the opposite direction of what we had expected.
The truth is that, because of the way this world functions, we have to constantly be brought in and out both extremes to truly experience “life in this world.” Because in this world, we experience one end of the spectrum as much as the other.
A wedding is a great occasion. It supposedly happens as a product or demonstration of happiness. And of course, when you think of the general cost of a wedding, you might be forced to think that both bride and groom were surely intoxicated when they planned the whole thing.
When the wave goes up, it has to come down naturally because of gravity, I think. The question is, “have we looked at both scenarios?” The rising and falling of the waves, and the aftermaths?
We try really hard to define success as something that it isn’t. We try to bring imagery to success. We try to give it a voice, a scent, a structure.
The general American Dream, or any countryman’s rather, is to move up the ladder with consistency and assurance. Prosper. Everyone wants to prosper.
My definition of success is simply to move in either direction. When I’m moved in the positive direction and realized that things look so much better up there, I celebrate success. But when I’m moved in the negative direction, it’s a recall to me to check on my foundation. Had I been succeeding without ever having been alarmed of erosions in my foundation, all of my success would have plummeted.
When we’re found intoxicated by happiness, we need to be settled. When we’re found sobered up with disappointment, we need to be moved again to the other end of the spectrum.
Life on this earth requires night and day. Life on this earth requires work and rest. When God grants us happiness, it is for the better. When God grants us disappointment, it is for the better.
What really doesn’t help is a flat line, unless our exit has just arrived.