This Christmas holiday, I found myself watching a DVD of the old Andy Griffith show. We don't have a dish or cable here, and our makeshift antenna gives us a fuzzy few channels to choose from on a good day. We don't mind ... it frees us up for other pursuits like music making and art. I have also found that when I watch something on the tube, I pay much closer attention.
So, there I was watching Andy, reunited with his old High School sweetheart, musing over the merits of small town security while Sharon, the "girl" contented for big city slickin'. This conversation ensued:
You can't live up to your potential here. In the big city you can grow and expand ... live a different kind of life.
How can it be that much different if you're happy? That's the main thing, ain't it, I mean, that's the goal that every individual as a person is shootin' for, ain't? It's kinda the prize of the game ... to be happy?
Yes. But, how do you find that here? I like trying to be a big fish in a big pond ... not a big fish in a little pond.
What's wrong with that?
Well ... what's wrong with that is I don't care for that.
I do ... I really do ... I've found what I want.
How do you know? You've never tried anything else!
I don't have to ... I don't have to! Even if I did try, I'd find out I already found it.
It made me think about my own life, and our goals as a family. Now I know I need to be prepared for a potential barrage of comments about the cheapness of "happy" and how God does not particularily care whether or not we are "happy". That the goal should never be so vague as happiness because happiness in and of itself is so fleeting ... a temporary state of the mind or a chemical reaction based on temporal and earthly things.
Well, here goes ... I disagree.
Happiness for me and mine has long been the simplified goal my husband has come to conclude we should strive for. Happiness is an equation with infinity attached. Happiness is a choice ... joy is a gift. So many times in life I think we miss the point because we think life has to have an incredibly complicated spiritual undertone joined at its hip ... all the time. I have come to believe that God takes just as much pleasure in me when I decide to take the kids for a free skate at the community arena as He does when I lay aside an afternoon to bask in His presence in all-out worship. And both make me happy.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ... happily ... and trust He will not let us miss the point.