I went looking for happiness.
She’s hard to chase down.
I pursued her down many hidden corridors and back alleys, occasionally catching the faint gleams of her beautiful hair blowing in the early morning light.
To no avail.
She was there, and then she was gone. She was there, and then she was…
No wait! There she is! A faint silhouette! Her shadow dancing in the soft glow on the stone path ahead. Just over the hill, I see her now. Keep pushing on!
So we climbed. Up, up, up we pushed, the hem of her dress just beyond the reach of my straining fingertips. Feet grinding, stomping, pushing desperately for solid footing to propel me higher and closer to the object of my desire.
Almost there. Almost. There. Almost….
She collapsed beneath the weight of her passionate suitor. I had finally caught her! All those years of manic pursuit had paid off.
I had happiness. I finally had happiness.
I grasped her delicately by the back of her shoulders and slowly spun her graceful figure. I couldn’t wait to stare deeply into those beautiful, fulfilling eyes.
But oh, the horror!
Her face was distorted and mangled, and her eyes glared with a fiery hatred that sent fear deep into the recesses of my soul. I pushed her away in disgust. What is this?!
I pursued happiness, but I caught misery.
As I slowly regained my bearings, I looked back down the path we’d been so manically climbing, There laid the crushed remnants of joy, and friendship, and intimacy, and peace, crumbled beneath my feet as I desperately clambered after the happiness imposter.
You see, happiness is not a pursuit. It’s a byproduct.
Chase her, and you’ll never find her. Chase her, and you’ll find nothing but sorrow.
On the journey toward love, and service, and sacrifice, and adding value to the world – toward walking the path that puts loving God and loving others ahead of loving ourselves – happiness just shows up. She’s cool like that. It’s true. She always comes to hang out when you least expect it.
When you weren’t looking for her at all.
So what are you chasing?