Four years ago I wrote a blog entitled “Finding Happiness – What’s so hard about it?” In that blog I highlighted the fact that Yale University had offered a course on “Finding Happiness” and over 1,200 students had registered for the course making it THE most popular course ever offered at the prestigious university. Now, I see where you can go online and complete a 6-week, part-time course and become a “Certified” Happiness Coach where you will learn “what a happiness coach does and how to do happiness coaching, even how to start your own happiness coaching business and get clients.” Really? I mean this is what we’ve come to? We now have people who feel the need, and will actually pay money, to hire a “happiness coach?”
Well, after the pandemic we have all experienced, I understand that many, many people find themselves struggling with mental health issues. Loneliness, anxiety, depression – believe me, I am not making light of any of these issues. But, are you telling me that we have come to a place in this world, this life, where we somehow feel the need to pay money and hire a…..happiness coach?
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment.” Roget’s Thesaurus lists such synonyms for happiness as cheerfulness, gladness and yes, joy and blessedness. Feeling joyful, feeling blessed, ah yes, I now realize I have had a ‘happiness coach’ for much of my life and best of all, I have never paid a cent for His wisdom and His presence in my life or for all the good things He has bestowed upon me.
Has my life been perfect? Hardly! Have I made mistakes in my youth that I regret? Absolutely! Have I failed in my role as a husband, as a father, as a grandfather as a friend, as an adult? Without question, yes! Haven’t we all failed in some capacity at some time in our lives? I have felt the pain, disappointment and the mental trauma of divorce. I’ve been fired from jobs I felt I was secure in. I’ve lost loved ones over the course of my life (like we ALL do) and yes, I have lost several pets in my lifetime that were near and dear to my heart. And just last month I screwed up and was late making a stupid credit card payment that cost me $35 in Late Fees! All this, and yet, I do consider myself to be happy most of the time. Why? Two simple reasons.
One, because all of the many things I have just mentioned are part of life. It is all part of the journey we are on. No matter who you are, no matter how much money you make or what role you play in society as part of the workforce; no matter what kind of car you drive or how big a house you live in – in life, each of us will have problems. It is part of the journey. It is part of life.
Second, and most importantly, finding real happiness begins when we make the choice to have an ongoing relationship with THE ONE true happiness coach, Jesus Christ. If we choose to invite Him into our life as our Lord and Savior, He is, and will be, with us wherever we go. No, he doesn’t eliminate the hardships or dilemmas we may encounter in life. After all, many of the hardships we face in life are brought on by our own actions and the free will decisions we make; but He is always there for us… always. As Psalm 23 says, “He lets me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.” Yes, He is there to comfort us in the worst of times and He is the cause for all that is good in our lives.
Yes, like each of us I, too, am on a journey called “life” and yes, I have a happiness coach. My understanding is He is always looking for new clients. I hope you will bring Him into your life as well. Be Happy, for you are a loved child of God.