Somebody is constantly trying to sell you something. Good sales people like to frame their product or service as the answer to your nagging discontent. Today we have the internet, so it’s not just the stores you see downtown; today the whole world is trying to sell you things. In the world of online shopping and next-day delivery, they will do so in the privacy of your own home.
So I guess the real secret to happiness must be for you to give other people more of your money. After all, isn’t your money a small price to pay for happiness? The sales assistant in that fashionable boutique assures you that “Last year’s wardrobe in unwearable; completely out of step with this year’s fashions.” Or perhaps, “The car models this year are much safer. What is your family worth to you?” Finally comes modern medicine, which for the cost of an appropriate donation to their efforts can keep you alive nearly indefinitely by attaching you to the right machine.
Many religious organizations urge you to fund their enterprise, because then you will have treasure in heaven. I suspect the wealthy hedge their bets by giving something to most who ask, hoping that one of their benevolent donations may be the one that truly opens the door into that kingdom.
Nobody is as greedy for your donations as government. If you don’t pay enough, they will tell you what your contribution needs to be. Failing repentance on your part, they will not wait until the next world to pursue your “contribution” to their “good deeds” here on earth.
Unfortunately, most of us spend much of our lives seeking happiness through these methods. Some turn to the more extreme promises of happiness through illicit drugs, sensuality, and even a craving for death itself. If we survive these efforts at finding happiness, and are a thoughtful man or woman, we may finally begin to examine our own human condition.
Government has failed, leaving in the wake of its promises a nation full of unhappy, angry people. Churches often seem most concerned with funding their efforts in the here and now, while you wait for paradise in the next world.
If man were only a physical being who emerged from pond scum over the eons, he should rightly expect to find happiness in the material world. After all, what else is there?
The assignment God gave the man and the woman in the beginning could only be accomplished in partnership with God. “And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein” (Gen. 9:7 KJV). Once that partnership was destroyed (the fall of man), we sought to do it on our own terms.
The Bible tells us that God has put eternity in our hearts: “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God] – yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP).
Why would we expect to find happiness without God? What we see all around is the result of men and women trying to accomplish a God-sized task on their own. What was to have been a spiritual-physical partnership has become rabidly physical and hostile to the spiritual. Our culture celebrates this.
The amazing part of this is that God still cares. Good Friday is the evidence of what it cost God to care. Easter is our invitation to rejoin God in the partnership that He originally created for us. Jesus is the door that God left open for our return. He wants that partnership with you on an individual basis. As many of us are there are today, God’s attention in not in any way taxed by so many individual relationships with him. Don’t worry about how much time you have left; God has a very long timeline in mind once you step through that Door.
Begin your introduction into the full measure of that partnership here, with Reconnaissance