The Main Goal

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Jesus said, “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The abundant life is not about being happy. Google ‘how to be happy’ and you‘ll get more than 800,000 hits. You’ll find suggestions about how to be happy in life, how to be happy with yourself, how to be happy single, how to be happy at work, how to be happy all the time.

Consult C.S. Lewis ‘God in the Dock’ and the chapter, ”We Have No Right To Happiness,” in which he warns us that the good news of the gospel is more than a promise that we’ll be happy. In fact, no such promise is made, and the continual pursuit of happiness as a ultimate goal in life will result in an unnatural affection for something that will eventually sweep us away. He gets into his discussion by describing a conversation he had had with some friends. “Clare” has said that, “after all, they have the right to happiness.” Lewis continues : “I went away thinking about the concept of a “right to happiness." At first this sounds to me as odd as a right to good luck. For I believe—whatever one school of moralists may say—that we depend for a very great deal of our happiness or misery on circumstances outside all human control. A right to happiness doesn’t, for me, make much more sense than a right to be six feet tall, or to have a millionaire for your father (or mother) or to get good weather whenever you want to have a picnic.”

Jesus doesn’t want to see us in misery. Our happiness is pleasing to Jesus, it’s just not the main goal. What matters most is that we have a faith that is resilient enough to see Easter in the “kingdom that is at hand..”. A faith that transforms us anew when the world knocks the wind out of us.

See the gospel of John for further reflection. This Labor Day weekend let us pray that our work brings us opportunities beyond mere happiness. Let us pray for, and crave abundant life!

Still in one peace,
Pastor David J.Jensen

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