default_mobilelogo

Where is True Happiness Found?

Meghan Markle is in crisis.  The big news in Great Britain over the past few weeks is that she and Prince Harry have decided to take a break from the public eye.  They are putting their “royal duties” on hold for a while.  As she’s explained in at least one interview, this is because of how miserable she is.  The pressures of her position have become unbearable.

Wait, what?  She’s a princess!  Royalty, for goodness sakes!  She has everything anyone could ever want—perfect health, great looks, a beautiful family, immense popularity, adoring crowds everywhere she goes, power, wealth, fame, status and on and on.  Not to be cruel, but my first reaction to hearing this is: Boo hoo.  Poor thing.  What a terrible card life has dealt her. (Dripping with sarcasm, of course, in case you couldn’t tell!)

Perplexed, I join the chorus of all those who are protesting that she’s the last person on earth who should be complaining.  Outraged, I join with all those who point out how insulting her comments are to all the people throughout the world who are experiencing real hardships.

But maybe I shouldn’t be so perplexed.  Maybe none of us should be.  What’s happening with Meghan Markle isn’t unusual. 

Someone once said that the greatest curse in life is to get everything you want.  To make it to the top.  To have all your dreams come true.  Because once you’re there, you realize that all the things you worked so hard for will never fully satisfy you.  You realize that being at the top isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and there’s nowhere else to go.  You realize that all the things you thought would make you happy never will; and if they can’t, nothing else can.

This would explain why celebrities who seemingly have it all tend to experience the highest rates of depression, loneliness, addiction, and suicide.  But it’s not just celebrities.  As Americans, we have more freedom, rights, access, opportunities, security, affluence, and comforts than any other people group has ever had throughout history.  We are the most self-fulfilled generation of all time.  That’s why it’s called the “me” generation.  Yet, the rates of depression, loneliness, addiction, and suicide among the general population are rising at an unprecedented and alarming pace. 

Why?  We are closer to realizing all we’ve held sacred for finding true happiness than any other time in history.  Then, why are we so unhappy?  If all we’ve been told (and sold) about happiness is true, why is it making us so miserable?   Why isn’t following our dreams, pursuing our passions, making it to the top, and fulfilling all our desires bringing true happiness?

In Mark 8:34-35, Jesus says that the only way to save your life is to lose it, the only way to save your soul is to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him.  While Jesus may have meant that taking up a cross would apply to some people literally—like many of His first disciples who were martyred for their faith in Him—He certainly also meant it to apply to those who didn’t, to all who would follow him, even if they didn’t suffer a martyr’s death on a cross.

So what Jesus is essentially promising here is the way to true happiness, to the sublime joy and fullness of life He offers—and it’s straight through the Cross.  Someone should have told Jesus that, if you’re trying to sell happiness, the Cross isn’t the best marketing tool!  More than any other devise through history, the Cross is an image of misery, of torture and ultimately death. 

But He insists that the Cross, that dying to self—sacrificial love—is the way to true happiness.  

This is quite counter-intuitive.  The complete opposite of what our culture teaches us. 

But, as I will demonstrate in next week’s blog, it actually is where true happiness is found.   

Where do you think true happiness is found?  Tell me what you think by going to the “Contact E.J.” page of the Raising Jesus website and leaving your comments and questions there.  Also, please “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t had a chance to yet.  Thank you!

 

About Me

E.J. Sweeney is a true skeptic. He needs to see to believe. Hard Evidence. Compelling Proof. Solid Logic. This is what he believes in. In college, he encountered questions that the superficial faith he was raised on couldn’t handle. So he began a quest for Truth, a quest for the answers to life’s ultimate questions.

EJ Sweeney

Read More