Are you happy?
The other day a friend sent me a video to watch. While the main topic was highly political, the entire conversation was threaded with a variety of cause, effect, purpose, good verses evil comments. While the entire conversation was informative and important, that one question has stuck with me for days. Are you happy? It wasn’t directed from one to the other in the conversation. It was a comment asking that everyone in general, take a good look at their life and ask themselves, are you happy.
Yesterday I was up on the roof of my home sweeping leaves. From that vantage point, I can view our surroundings differently. I have said often that I would love to have steps built behind the house so I could sit up there often gazing out back into the woods. I have a swing out back, but there is a different feeling that comes with the different location. As the leaves fall from the trees, the view opens up even more. Being up there, seeing the woods stretch out away from me, allows for introspection.
My home is not large, just over a thousand square feet. My son once told me a long time ago, that when he got a job and made lots of money, he was going to buy me a home in a local development where the houses there are huge. Multilevel brick homes that reek money (or high debt). Homes that have well manicured yards and nice cars parked in the drive. I remember smiling and telling him that was nice, but those houses couldn’t come close to giving us what we have here. One could get lost in a house that large and imagine trying to furnish such a place in a way fitting. While I am in no way meaning to be derogatory toward those who own large homes. If that is where your heart rests and where you are happy, that is you. There is nothing wrong with that. It simply goes back to, are you happy.
I half tease my son on wishing to own a Wrangler. While I love my Compass as it suits me, and even though I have been told often it says Jeep, its a Jeep, it isn’t a Wrangler and therefore different. It isn’t looked at in quite the same way, because lets face it, it isn’t the same. That however, is not a bad thing. I may not be able to do some serious off road driving, I may not be able to remove doors and top, but I get where I need to be. And that is what matters.
I make comments from time to time about my financial limitations due to my retirement status. The thing is, I generally have enough. I can buy groceries, I can pay bills, I can put gas in the Jeep. Every once in a while, I can spend a little on a nonessential item. This has taught me to be content with what I have and realize that most of the extra stuff, wasn’t really needed anyway.
At this point you may be thinking, all that is well and good, but what does that have to do with the question?
As I sit here, glancing out the window and watching the not so stray cats finish eating, I feel contentment. As I watch the sunlight in the trees and that clear blue sky, I feel content. I have what I need materially. I have a warm, safe home. I am surrounded by family. I have friends. I have two spoiled dogs and four not so stray cats. I have a big yard partially surrounded by woods that allow me privacy and room to hike relatively safely. Woods filled with various wildlife that come to visit. We have the changing seasons that I can watch happening around me. The new growth of Spring, the return to warmth, the summer sun and outdoor life. I can watch as Autumn brings about the most glorious explosions of color in the trees and Winter’s quiet rest. I have the ability to be the difference in some form every day. I have a Lord and Savior Who loves and guides me. I am wealthy beyond measure in important ways.
I am happy. In the end, it largely doesn’t matter what one does or doesn’t have materially. It doesn’t matter what’s in the drive or the bank. One could have billions of dollars, and still not be happy. What matters, is what is is one’s heart. There is where happiness resides.