The Pursuit of Happiness?…or the Good Life?

“What ever happened to the pursuit of happiness?” asks a recent Starbucks ad for the mint mocha frappuccino.

Not too long ago, I was out of town with my family, visiting some extended family. They live in a small town that has been overtaken by big city dwellers seeking a personal pleasure island. After seeing what was going on there, my answer to Starbucks is that the pursuit of happiness is alive and well, not to mention as misdirected and pointless as ever.

I couldn’t help but think about the American Dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I thought of the tendency to satisfy our longings with things like money, sex, and power. I thought of our endless banal hunger that is at its core an all-consuming egoism.

God, set me free, please, from this dead-end of unhappy ‘happiness’.

What is ‘happiness’ anyway? It would be good to either redefine it, recapture its meaning, or cast it off altogether for something better.

‘Abundant life’ might be the better thing. Maybe ‘the good life’ is even more true for our ears today. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” Jesus said (John 10:10). That’s what I’m after.

So, Jesus, lead me in the way eternal by stripping my soul of its false pursuits in Your life. Search through my inner thoughts, memories, and motivations to bring pure and right ways. You are the gate I want to enter through. You are the good shepherd I want to hear, know, and follow.

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