Where Can I Find Happiness in Life?
If you are wondering where you can find happiness in life, you are not alone. Sooner or later we all ask ourselves this question. The answer for me came from several different places. One of those places was an essay I stumbled upon called, The Station, and it was written by Robert Hastings. Hastings was at one time president of the Southern Baptist Press Association and he wrote more than 15 books. I’ve never read any of his books but I have read his essay over and over again, until I have it almost memorized.
The essay is only 250 words long but it’s message is so powerful that it deserves sharing with all your friends and family. Remember Ann Landers, the syndicated advice columnist? People were always asking her where they could find happiness in life. She reprinted Hastings essay twice in her column.
When I was much younger I doubt if reading this essay would have made such an impact on me. In 1990 I lost my mother to cancer. In 1995 I lost my dad to heart disease. Then in October of 2015 I lost one of my dearest friends to breast cancer. If you have lost a loved one, you can’t read this essay and not understand the importance of finding joy in our journey through life. Every. Single. Day.
Finding Happiness in life can be hard if we are always looking for BIG moments, but when we stop and look at the small things we might just discover that they are the Big moments.
You find it in small things. The sound of a child’s laughter. The warmth of sunshine on your face. The feel of a gentle breeze on a hot summer day.
If you aren’t experiencing happiness, or if you are waiting on something to “make” you happy, please read Robert Hasting’s beautiful essay. Maybe you already are living a life filled with joy but you know someone who isn’t. Consider sharing this post with them. You never know what might open a door to a discussion about why a person can’t feel happiness when it’s right in front of them. Sometimes they need a good listener and other times they might need a nudge in the right direction to seek professional help.
Not everyone can do it on their own and that’s okay. I believe we were meant to help each other out through this journey we call life.
by Robert Hastings
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we bring in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a complete jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering—waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
When we reach the station, that will be it, we cry. When I’m 18. When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes Benz. When I put the last kid through college. When I have paid off the mortgage. When I get a promotion. When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after.
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
Relish the moment is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
By Robert J. Hastings