I went looking for happiness, but she’s hard to chase down.
I pursued her through hidden corridors and back alleys, occasionally catching the faint gleam of her beautiful hair blowing in the early morning light. But to no avail. She was there and then she was gone. She was there and then she was…
No wait, there she was! That faint silhouette! Her shadow dancing, beckoning, in the soft glow on the path ahead. Just over the hill, I was sure I could see her now. Press on and hurry!
And so we climbed! Up, up, up we pushed, the hem of her dress just beyond the reach of my straining fingertips. My feet were desperately searching for traction in the loose gravel, straining, propelling me just a little bit higher and closer to the object of my affection.
She collapsed beneath the weight of her frenzied suitor. I caught her! All the years of manic pursuit had finally paid off.
I caught happiness!
I finally had happiness.
Happiness was mine!
I delicately caressed her hair and slowly turned her face toward mine with passionate anticipation.
But oh, the horror!
Her features were distorted and mangled and her eyes glared back at me with a fiery hatred that sent shivers deep into my soul. I pushed her away in terror. What was this? Who was this?
I chased happiness.
I caught misery.
I slowly regained my bearings and looked back on the path we’d been so manically climbing. There laid the crushed remnants of joy, friendship, intimacy, and peace. I had completely destroyed them clambering after an imposter.
You see, happiness is not a pursuit. It’s a byproduct.
Chase her and you’ll never find her. Chase her and you’ll find nothing but sorrow.
On the journey toward love, and service, and commitment, and sacrifice, and adding value to the world, of living into the Creator’s Story, of loving God and loving others ahead of ourselves…
…happiness just shows up.
She’s cool like that. She always comes to hang out when you least expect her.
When you weren’t looking for her at all.
So what are you chasing?