Monday, March 17, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

Hey bloggers...Happy St. Patrick's Day...

I was going to write a cool post for today, but after we got home from the Safehouse banquet, I had so many calls and e-mails and texts to return that the time got away from me, and now it's too late for me to think clearly and write anything really intelligent. But I want to post something, so I'm going to publish the little piece that I wrote yesterday for my One On One on the CITN site.

BTW, loved the service yesterday...the way Chandra flowed was awesome...great crowd...good things happening...sat next to Ralph Reed last night at the banquet and got to talk politics for an hour...very cool exchange...



In the past I've taught on the difference between joy and happiness. Joy, of course, is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and flows from the inside out; while happiness (or "hap"iness) is the emotional reaction to external events or "haps", and flows from the outside, in.

Hap - an accidental happening; "he recorded all the little haps and mishaps of his life"; chance event, fortuity, accident, stroke - anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause; "winning the lottery was a happy accident"

As stated above, a mishap is an unfortunate event. The word perhaps, means, basically "if everything is favorable" or "if the haps line up". In other words, we are "hap"py when good things "hap"pen to us. And happiness is, indeed, a good thing, and is even something that we have the power to create in our lives. The only downside to searching for happiness is that it does have an opposite – unhappiness – or the emotional reaction to mishaps in our lives. That's where joy comes in. Joy is something superior to happiness because it has no opposite. There is no such word as "unjoy"!

The potential for happiness is within your mind, while joy comes from within your spirit. When you stop the chatter of the mind and expel your worries and fears you find out that happiness surfaces from within your thoughts, especially as they are managed through your spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not downplaying the pursuit of happiness. Not only is it one of our "unalienable rights" as Americans, it is something that the Scriptures talk about quite frequently, and is mentioned as being a blessing. Happiness is a good thing…a very good thing, in fact…it is just not the best thing. Happiness under-girded by joy is the optimum. When you are "joy-ful", you are protected from being devastated by the un"hap"iness that comes as a result of the disappointing things that can "hap"pen in your life. The joy of the Lord is your strength because it serves as a kind of insurance policy…it is there at all times, regardless of what "hap"pens, so that you can actually walk in joy, even when you experience un"hap"piness!

But happiness is not something far away and unattainable, and on a deeper level, its manifestation does not have to depend on circumstances, at all. Your mind can be renewed to the place that you are unmoved by what you feel emotionally, and can actually experience joy and happiness, simultaneously! That's what David was talking about when he said, "my cup runs over!".

Happiness can be one of the most important treasures in life if you know how to keep it in perspective. It is within your mind, which means it is in your soul. All you have to do is dig it out and enjoy it.

In fact, there really is no need to search for happiness, or even to create it, for that matter. There is no need to undergo all kinds of external experiences in order to enjoy it. It is always here, deep within your soul, and when your spirit and soul come into alignment, you will find that they flow beautifully together.

Make the decision to BE happy today, and you will be, because you have the joy of the Lord!

Don't worry…be happy!

15 comments:

Erik said...

Hi,
Joy & Happiness is a wonderful subject today, and actually a double reminder since it is here and in the CITN site. I am writing this here because… this part of the community seems more intimate, and I want to ask something for my son. Joy springs from the soul, an artesian spring; happiness to me is the quenching from that spring.

I want to ask this part of the community to be in agreement for my son. His name is Ryan. He is facing a significant trial and I am with him in the West right now. I know the Joy that rises from our spirit and washes us with happiness, the Joy of The Lord, as we rejoice in This Day that The Lord has made. My son knows this too, and he also has trembling as he moves forward. It is hard for him, so I ask that you are in simple agreement with me for him. The Joy internal, that peaceful Joy that transcends the distractions ( ‘I can see clearly’ is now playing on the shuffle – Thank You God) I already know that the agreement is in place, so Thank You.

I wanted to write this , knowing that the Joy and Happiness that we experience has always been here, whether we saw it or not. Thank you for your agreement, thought, Amen, whatever. It is received even as I write, before I post. That physical aspect follows the request and response in the Spirit already made, done. Now – ‘Sing Your Praise to The Lord’ is playing. I Love The Holy Spirit, He just bares His arm all the time. The Holy Spirit shows us where to dig to unearth the Joy and embrace the Happiness and Peace that live on the same block with Wisdom. I hear that my son sees the panoramic vista encompassing all of these, for this situation, but even deeper than that , throughout his life. We all have this in our hand throughout our lives.

That Joy is what we are heirs to, and have NOW before any will is read, in that effect, we are paid in advance with interest, that accumulates going forward. This is the fountain that never runs out, Love, Joy, Happiness, Wisdom, .. Peace. We ALL have this birthright because … God IS… Hosanna… Indefinable …. More than we can ask or think … Pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing Joy. Praise God.

Anonymous said...

I am a walking testimony to the fact that "Don't worry - be happy!" really works. Once I was able to really renew my mind to this seemingly simple thought, a whole new level of joy revealed itself to me and took up residence in me. It brings with it a level a peace that can only be revealed through Christ-consciousness. My covenant with CITN was a huge catalyst in revealing the truth and allowing me to walk in it.
The Holy Spirit revealed to me a couple of days ago a new way of "seeing" the 100-fold return. First, as I have recently been delivered from my mindset of serving Mammom or Money and now am progressing into having Mammom serve me, the 100-fold return is no longer mostly a financial thing for me - it is an all-encompassing lifestyle and "Being" thing for me. Anyway, the Holy Spirit showed me that a 30-fold return is what happens when we as individuals try and try and try to make things happen for ourselves and our circle of influence. The 60-fold return is what happens when we allow God to help us in many areas of our lives, but we are still trying to control many aspects. The 100-fold return only happens when we surrender it all to God, rest in His peace and allow Him to work through us in every aspect of our lives. Then and only then can we experience His fullness of Joy and truly reap all His benefits. I am still "working" as hard as ever, but it's different now. I accomplish much more in less time and with much less effort, anxiety, stress due to my renewed mindset of being Spirit-driven in all areas.
Ask for and receive your own unique revelation about how to walk in your 100-fold return that only God can provide and bless you with.
I pray that you all have a 100-fold day!
Maurine

DoubleBack Alley said...

Wow, talk about Beware the Ides of March, Atlanta. Great Caesar's Ghost y'all. Snow is bad, but it melts. Those tornados are bad news. Hope all are well.

Sahib, never meant to be clandestine as to my whereabouts. Do you know where Joliet, Illinois is? Just outside of, a little south and west of Chicago, under the snow, waiting for the Al Gore Global Warming speech on his fabulous invention, the internet.

Jefferson wrote about inalienable rights because he wanted a tangible, tactile, treatise on a theory that had never been tried. Talk about a revolution. We all want to change the world. He did.

I love his use of the word because it means "that which cannot be transferred". As an alien, you transfer everything; citizenship, customs, mores, allegiance, and language. As an inalien, nothing can be transferred; you are a born citizen with rights that cannot be brokered. Wonderful thought.

Joy is my right as a citizen of the eternal. If my creator endows me with the gift, then it cannot be transferred. I can only choose not to use it. Such a sad thought.

If, however I choose to use it, then I am able to give the gift liberally and cause others to prosper in the gift even as their souls prosper. That is the greatest gift.

Thanks to Al, I see where you sat and spoke with Ralph Reed last night. I also heard through his amazing talking box that you visited with Farrakhan (his name means reverent flower) and Sun Myung Moon's son. I had just gotten used to grits, dude. Just trying to imagine the three of them at a table with me. "What you think about the Cubs pitching?". No response. Let's talk about Jesus. Four alarm fire.

I would have so much joy at that table. Truth is , I think I would be closer to Moon than anyone. Nascent moon. Dark side of the moon. Full moon. Bad moon rising.
Moon pie.

I can count it all joy that this site is in the now. My joy is that we all have participated in creating one another. With joy. We really are stardust, huh Peacemaker? We are two billion year old carbon. Back to the garden.

Love the word Hosanna Sahib. Perfect for palindroming through the Farras.

Anna, so here lives evil ere Hosanna.

Ain't God Good?

Izumi/JOY said...

I think I get it.

Paprika and cinnamon look similar. But, on French toast, the difference is obvious.

LP in SC said...

Morning, Bish & all :)
LOVE THIS POST! Not going to elaborate (at least not now)... it's pretty self-explanatory. If you have a free minute in your day, and remember how to get to my myspace page, check out the new song I just put up. Mati Haskell is a really young, blues phenom. I just adore her! Haven't visited her page in awhile, so I came across a new song this morning. Think you'd like it!
Have a good one!

LP in SC said...

IZUMI,
Your JOYful whimsy makes my heart leap :):):) Always has! Love your view of the world...

Donald said...

First of all Eric, I’m in agreement with you for your son.
I don’t like to think of myself as moody or bipolar or anything like that but I will admit that I do succumb to circumstances sometimes and allow them to “get me down”.
For instance, yesterday my son left going back to school, then this morning I get to work and some of the department heads had not accomplished some weekend work that they had committed to doing which resulted in a “come to Jesus” meeting, which always tends to take the wind out of my sails.
Which makes me wonder if there are really some of you folks out there that can always just let this stuff roll off and not be affected by it? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get suicidal or anything like that, and always manage to make a comeback, but sometimes I have to keep telling myself to “snap out of it” for awhile before it actually happens.
I quote Psalms, try to pretend I’m a Vulcan, do deep breathing and all sorts of stuff to try to keep from getting down, but sometimes events do bother me.
Also I have one other question. As I was sitting here trying to get over this “stuff” (which by the way seems to be abating even as I type) I happened to look over at the whiteboard mounted on the wall and noticed that my eraser is referred to as a “Multi-Purpose Eraser”. Can anyone think of any other purpose for an eraser than to erase?

Iris said...

For many years I let my circumstances determine my happiness. I allowed the stress and confusion of life to anchor me to a dury existence of despair and worry. I knew God was there� I knew there was an inward joy somewhere deep inside of me� but somehow it had been clogged up with everyday life and I was in desperate need of some spiritual �Drain-O�� How could I tap into it? Everything was overwhelming� Things kept me focused on the mundane external, and not the internal God given spiritual depths of where real joy comes from�

Until� I came to the realization that I was seeing things all wrong� It was a morning I had got up early before the sun had awakened the sky� The pitch blackness of the pre-dawn had over took the night� but yet the birds were singing� They had the expectation that the sun was soon to rise and the darkness would soon cease � They couldn�t see it� but they knew it� It was deep inside of them and they couldn�t help but sing�

Then I remembered a gentleman that I had talked to on one of my adventurous journeys around the world� I had just left a building of an industrious city�on to the Niagara of faces that flowed past on the busy street corner� where I saw him� Singing� Aluminum can sat by his side� He begged for donations�. He was blind� I walked by not wanting to notice� then I stopped and mumbled to myself about the essence of hypocrisy, then turned back to his direction� I dug down deep into my empty pockets and put some change into his hand� He said �Thank you� and offered a common gesture� �Be of good health� he whispered� an ironic wish I thought�

Then I walked away... until� I heard him start singing again� Quickened� I turned� What is it about this blind man that intrigues me so?� He was something more than just a sightless man, begging on a busy street corner� I wanted to know what it was� Most beggars groveled in their cultivating self pity� but not this man�He stood tall� He sang loudly, and proudly... I had more reason to sing then he did� but yet I was silent and he was proclaiming�

I had to talk to him� As I approached he turned in my direction, acknowledging my presence� I offered him some bottled water� then we sat on a near by bench�

I began to ask him about his life� He was 28 yrs. old, lived with his parents and 7 siblings� �were you born blind?� I asked, not knowing how he would react by such a blatant question� �No, I had an accident when I was small� and that was all he volunteered� I was uncomfortable to pursue the question any further� As I listened to him tell me about his life� I realized that we grew up light years apart� For me� summer vacations, Sunday school, chorus competitions, and art expositions� For him growing up blind in a Third World didn�t offer any of these� My daily concerns involved people, thoughts, concepts, and communication� His day was stitched with concerns of survival, coins, handouts, and food. I go home to a nice apartment� a hot meal� cloths to wear� friends and family� I could only imagine what he would go home to� I�d seen some of overcrowded huts on the hillsides, with no running water or electricity� toilets wherever one decided to dispose� Would there be anyone to welcome him home that evening with open arms? I wore a nice outfit, and shoes� His shoes ragged with soles worn to bare threads, his coat torn and dirty, and his pants gaped open from a rip in the knee�

But still he sang� Though a sightless, penniless, hobo� he still found a song and sang it daringly� What room in his heart did that song come from?... I pondered� His song was not one of depression, it was to peaceful for self preservation�It wasn�t one of ignorance because he didn�t know what he didn�t have�

No, I decided the motivation behind his song and demeanor was one we�d least expect� He was singing from pure unexplainable joy� Somehow this sightless beggar had discovered a candle called joy and it glowed in his dark world... He had the revelation that tomorrow�s joy is fathered by today�s acceptance�

My life was disguised with the mask of outward happiness� there was no song� my life was silent� my face became a billboard that announced the true state of my heart� �Desperate! Marriage on the rocks!� �Broken: In Need of Repair,� and �faithless, frantic, and fearful�?

The blind man was one of the most joyful fellows on the street, no diploma, no awards, and no future, at least in the aggressive sense of the word� I realized that I would give what my world had to offer, to drink from this man�s well� Once I thought I was the one who could see, but it was he who gave me a new vision...

I had to shake off the things that fasten me to the desolation of my silent journey� I began to drink of the well� no longer was the outward going to determine my �Hap-piness� Bishop� but I decided to allow God�s remarkable joy to conclude my out look on life� I have dug up the treasure� I�ve lit the candle� and I am determined to never let life�s winds blow it out�.

Now I live my life above the clouds� only looking down at the storms� but not living in it� It is so much better up here� My joy is full and running over� the spiritual �Drain-O� has worked� I am now singing loud and proudly� I hope that some day I will give new vision to someone else who�s life has no song�

Joy is the bird that sings while it is yet dark�

Iris

Erik... We stand in agreement with you... your son will find Joy in it all...

Izumi/JOY said...

LP in sc - thank you. You've been in my prayers.

Erik - agreement for Ryan - yes.

DBA - closer to Moon?

Donald - yes. They're less caloric than pizza crusts when I'm chewing on problems throughout the day.

peacemaker said...

So what's all this talk about happiness. We all know as "Christians" we're not supposed to be happy. Joyful maybe, just not happy.
If you go on most any Christian website or watch Christian TV or read Charisma magazine or Chick Tracts or listen to most preachers you should know happiness is for those decieved ones who believe that God is good; that He loves everybody; that He's not willing that any should perish.
We, as good "Christians", are supposed to be un-happy about the condition of the world and try to separate ourselves from it while we wait with baited breath for our escape. We should be mad at all the sinful people running amuck that don't believe exactly what we believe, but joyful about all the mishaps that befall those sinful ones who don't follow the letter to the T and heed the warnings and signs of God's impending judgement.
Real "Christians" are supposed to be just like Him...mad at everybody! Right?

Even though I'm being extremely facetious, is there anybody out there who, like me, has been there?

Thank God for spiritual evolution. That makes me happy!

Thank God we know...God really is good, He does love everybody and we have the innate ability to manifest that love to the world.
That makes me happy!

Thank God for Bishop Swilley, his posts, this blogsite, and all you wonderful, intelligent, wise, joyful, happy bloggers with whom I have the pleasure to dialogue with.
You make me happy!

Thank God for something unprecedented that's happening between you, Bishop, and those of a different stripe . Thank God for open minds and unified dialogue. Thank God for oneness. Thank God for Peace.
All that makes me VERY happy!

Erik...I'm already happy because of your good report.

DBA...Yessir, we are, and that makes me happy.

May we all experience total joy and unrestrained happiness as we journey through this beautiful day.

PM

Donald said...

Ew, Yuck, Izumi/Joy!!!
That tastes horrible!
I'll just stick with sniffing the markers.
But, ah, I think I'm back in the land of the living. It was just a minor setback.

Avatar said...

...POLO!

full day...
checkin' in...

...more later

kettly duchatellier said...

Bishop,

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards:they try to have more things,or more money,in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reversed.
You must be who you really are,then do what you need to do,in order to have what you want.
The thirst after Happines is never
in the heart of a man or a woman.
but,GOD and GOD alone.
The revelation that we have everything we need in life to make us happy,is simply lack of the conscious awareness to appreciate it.How many of us go through our days parched and empty,thirsting after Happiness, when we're really standing knee deep in the river of abundance?
How Happy Are You Right NOW?
Perhas it one really knew when one was happy,one would know the things
that were necessary for one's life.
What missing from many of our days
is a true sense that we enjoying the lives we are living.It is difficult to experience momments of Happiness if we are aware of what it is we genuinely love.
Let us each grasp a new idea this year. Let us grasp the awareness of what it is that makes us truly Happy.Let us consider our personal preferences and learn how to recognize,then embrace,momments of Happiness that are uniquely our own.
Way of Happiness: Complete surrender of every momment to God is the foundation of Happiness.
JOY:IS LEARNING LIFE'S LESSONS WITH A LIGHT HEART.
Learning to live in the present momment is part of the path of Joy.
This requires a profound inner shift in our reality.Many of us unconsciously create dramas in our minds.If we expecting the worst,
the worst will happened.If we expecting the best,the best will happened,only to have our expectations become the self-fufilling prophecy.But what if we
learned how to stop the dramas and stated to trust the flow of life and the goodness of our spirits.
we should declare out loud to the Universe that we are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through Joy.
FRUIT of JOY:Withdraw into the calm of communion with God.Rest in that calm and peace life knows no greater joy than you can find in converse and companionship with the Lord.(ISAIAH 12:3) Therefore with JOY you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Remember:Last week,when the Lord said;Draw Beauty from every flower and JOY from the song of the birds
and the colour of the flowers.
Peace,Happiness,and Joy to you all
Kettly

Izumi/JOY said...

PM - yes. Been there! Ditto on, "thank God for spiritual evolution!"

I admit that I not only wondered what everybody was so po'd about, I also inflicted some of the weirdness on those around me. What was the Good News about that?!

Accck!

* Donald - good to know. Trust me on this: Don't try paste either.

Avatar said...

Erik: agreeing with you and Ryan, for unearthing both happiness and joy, together.

Donald: I feel ya. I have to do the "snap out of it" thing too, even today. A daily joy bar starts the day but there's lunch and dinner too. And when an important relationship "thing" gets past the joy-armor, I need a healthy manna snack [or two or three]. Like you, it doesn't take too long [coming here today certainIly helped!] once I figure out its manna I need.

Like you, I'm not sure there is really anyone out here who's got a teflon soul. If that belief is holding me back, I'm willing to let it go. But even Jesus was touched with the feelings of our infirmities and spent all night in the garden of Gethsemane coming into agreement with God at least once.

[btw--thanks for the heads up on the erasers and paste, I'll take you guyses word on that!]