Monday, May 07, 2007

Jolt Quote VIII (On Happiness)

I met Dr James Houston today. Ever gentle and charming, he exuberates that natural welcome that is rather special. Though he is a busy man, he is still very much a person who lives very intentionally, and relationally. I recall one of his books where he wrote on happiness.

"Happiness is not a product, nor even a personal achievement. It is this commodity mentality that underlies the drug culture as well as the consumerism that threatens to destroy our world. The commodity mentality breeds self-interest, turning us against each other in suspicion and selfishness. Instead, happiness is the fruit of a gifted life, of goodness received from others, and love given and shared. Happiness can only come our way when we have a strong life in relationship with others." (James Houston, In Pursuit of Happiness, p8)

Great quote. A gifted life that recognizes the beauty of true self. The gift of friends, who dances with us and invites us not to be afraid to make mistakes as long as we are willing to try, as they encourages each other towards good workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. The presence of love which makes everything that seemed toilsome, all worthwhile. James Houston is a living embodiment of what it means to live a good spiritual life. Like him, I do not see myself as a happy person. I live more days looking unhappy rather than happy. Maybe I am being honest with myself. Maybe I am less interested in pretending. But does that mean I am less Christian? I don't think so. God made me who I am, and if it is in this current disposition, I may look sad, but I am deeply thankful.


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