As we get older, life appears to get more difficult. I listen to the genuine pain as people around me struggle with the health problems that come with aging parents. I feel the burdens as we, for the first time, struggle with injuries and disease that will take years to heal, if they ever do. I sense the tiredness that comes with the unending struggle to face and deal with the stuff that hits each of us every day. The list becomes endless; jobs, kids, parents, neighbors, and just getting from point a to point b are just top tier starters. We can go on, obstacles, roadblocks, jerks, and a few other metaphors bubble up in my mind, as does joy, peace, happiness, comfort, and hope.
The desire that you and I carry for quenching our thirst to really live never seems to be satisfied. We know that certain challenges are there because life is hard. We understand that we often create or cause some of our own problems and headaches. However, life seems to be getting more and more difficult! Satisfaction from the daily routine appears more and more illusive. Are there any examples of those who have “made” it?
When I reflect on people I meet that carry visible joy, peace, happiness, a sense of knowing who they are, and hope, they have several common attributes. First, there is no link between their economic standing, or lack of, and happiness. Finding someone who is well off and happy is a rare event. Being without seems to actually help! Second, status and recognition do not automatically bring hope, peace, or joy. Often, I find those toiling in obscurity to have a much better sense of their mission and purpose than those in the lights. Third, from what I can see, “moral character makes for smooth traveling; an evil life is a hard life.” (Proverbs 11.5)
Happiness and hope is, from my observations and experience, found only in our relationship with God. Other things can complement, but only the Divine can satisfy. God gives to all.