Yes. Happyness. I know this word is spelled “wrong,” but hang with me for a minute. I spell happyness this way to distinguish it from the typical modern understanding of “happiness.” Happiness has everything to do with me. Happyness doesn’t. Happyness refers to an old understanding of happiness. Let’s explore, shall we?
Back a long time ago, some guys got together in a room and wrote something. That something contained the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yes, those guys were the USA’s Founding Fathers, and yes, that written something was the Declaration of Independence. Did they really endorse an unrestrained chase after whatever feels good? Of course not! How do we know that? Because the very definition of happiness was different then. It was happyness.
So, what is happyness? Happyness is “the way things ought to be,” much like the Hebrew understanding of Shalom. This requires consideration of more than what makes me feel good. Happyness insists that I look out for what is best and what should be. By pursuing the way things should be, we can come to a happier frame of mind. When we pursue happyness, we gain happiness in the end. No, we don’t get everything we want. We get something happier: a better world, a greater calling, something BIGGER. Happyness requires that we live morally, fighting for the common good. Some would also argue that true happyness requires more than virtue. It also requires faith in Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus offers “abundant life” that is, essentially, happyness. It’s the way things ought to be. I tend to agree with these people. Life is better when God is at the center. He holds all things together and does what is best for the way things ought to be. His way is always the best. Thus, if you are pursuing the best way, you must also be pursuing Christ. He gives you the best way.
There is a best way for everything. There is a best way to be a woman. There is a best way to be a man. There is a best way to be a mother, father, brother, sister, employee, boss, and so on. When you are pursuing Christ, you get that best way. No, it’s not always perfect because we mess up. It’s not always wonderful because we are human. However, it’s happyness. It’s that abundant life Christ promises in John. Perfect, whole happyness will not be completely experienced on Earth. Heaven is where we will completely experience that best way, that happyness, that shalom, that abundant life. We will be whole and so will all our brothers and sisters. Praise God that He has offered His Son as an atoning sacrifice to draw us to Himself and to perfection, to holiness. To happyness. =)
Dios te bendiga.