By Holly Scheer
When I was younger I thought a major goal in life was happiness. Primarily my own happiness. The choices I made, the ideas I pursued, and the friends I kept were in line with what I thought at the time would make me happy– even if it was bad for me. And those around me.
But happiness is fleeting. Self absorbed happiness is even more so.
Life has had many joys and sorrows for me in adulthood. There has been the joy of marriage, of children born and reborn in the waters of Baptism, of friends who point me to Christ. But there has also been death of dear family members, sickness in those children, and all the various tumults that come from living in a fallen world.
I no longer run after happiness. I appreciate it when a moment brings it, and I seek to not ignore the simple joys that my life contains. But those moments are, too often, followed by sadness. Milk is spilled, a fever spikes, a dear friend dies, and the happiness is hard to remember.
No, I no longer seek happiness. I pray instead for contentment. That the places and vocations I am placed in this earthly life let me serve my neighbors, both those closest to me in my family and those that I come into contact with. And that I learn to be still and remember that Christ died for the sorrows in my life.
You see, I don’t need to try to arrange my world for my benefit. I don’t need to worry about what is next… but I still do. I’m not perfect.
What I have is far more lasting than a moment of happiness- it’s the fullness of the Gospel. Christ has come for me, for my joys and sorrows, and I have the promise of eternity.
And that is something to look forward to.