Everything we do and the people we love can be lost. Lives change, finances change, people change, health changes.
Our lives sometimes seem like a series of love, loss, and change in a beautiful world. I pray your loves are greater than your losses and any changes are for the good.
Moving thirty times in my life was difficult change, but I weathered it. Losing my parents young was change that was awful, but when I look around, there are many like me. Who has not weathered something devastating? We all have. Some cover it up better than others, but there are sources of pain in everyone’s lives.
Time eases the pain, but does not erase the loss. Change can hurt.
Life is not easy. It is not easy for anyone.
Yet life is still a wonderful gift. We find love, and it changes us too, makes us more beautiful. We feel happy.
C.S. Lewis said “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
C.S. Lewis was a contemporary of JRR Tolkien and wrote the Narnia series and many apologetics books on Christ. His advice about not letting our happiness depend on something we can lose is my favorite C.S .Lewis quote.
If you are happily married and have children, your life still changes. Children grow up and begin their own lives.
Many people struggle when their nest is empty, because their children are their lives. You have the 17-18 years you get with each child, a wedding possibly and someday grandchildren, maybe.
A long life will be very lonely if your whole reason for living moves across the country or marries someone you detest.
What if your child was the only real light in your house, the positive source of joy? And, now, they have moved on to college or marriage. What then?
I’ve also seen people’s lives devastated, because their happiness was in a person who died or who walked out. We can lose people. Sometimes you think it is more than you can bear.
I do understand grief and loss and how difficult it can be. I have suffered great loss myself.
But, happiness cannot stem from one person’s presence in our lives or we will have no life when they are gone.
It is possible to feel happier doing something fulfilling. Writing is my therapy and creative outlet, but my happiness cannot depend on something finite, as in a career or job. I am thankful for my mind and my typing hands, but it is not all I am, my whole reason for being. It is what I do.
You are more than your job title or cool kid life handle, because one day you will have change. You will change, your job will change, or life will change.
Money or position does not equal happiness either, and can easily be lost.
In fact, the more money you have the greater the responsibility, unless you are irresponsible and then you lose your money and your livelihood. I have heard people who gained wealth say they were happier before they had all that responsibility. Money is not the answer to happiness. I have had both abundance and lived with debt and empty pockets. It is immaterial in the big scheme of things.
In the same vein, power or position are easily lost in a world that is waiting for you to screw up and splash it all over the news or your office.
Geography can’t be your source either. “One day when I live (fill in the blank)…I will be happy.”
Geography will not make you happy. It may distract you for a while, or give you more friends or family sources, but happiness does not come from a place.
Happiness is not a destination, somewhere you are trying to reach.
People, places we go, things we do, and the things that make up a life are changeable, fleeting, able to be lost. Even those we trust and love the most are just people after all.
What is there that does not change? Who is it that we cannot lose? A place to put our trust?
If your happiness rests in one person, one place, one career, or one outcome, you are setting yourself up for a devastating loss.
Nothing on earth lasts forever. People pass on, jobs change, good outcomes are not sure.
The only constant unchanging unshakable someone or something in life that we cannot lose is the love of God.
He is ever lasting, ever mindful of us. He created us in his likeness. We are his finest work.
With all of our flaws, losses, and desires, we cannot live happily without acknowledging the holes in our hearts that can only be filled with God ‘s presence.
Faith in something beyond ourselves is a place of rest that can settle our souls when we are in pain. We need his peace and life changing renewal to deal with our changing world.
God is something we cannot lose.
He does not go anywhere, and no matter what we have done or who we are, God is God.
He sent his Son Jesus to abolish the sin of the world, to make a way for us out of despair. He is our Shepherd, our very present help in times of trouble.
If our lives, hope, and peace depend on this world, we will never be happy.
If we put our faith in Jesus, happiness will live within.
Barefoot and writing,
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