From the time of our awareness of life, growing up through childhood, adolescence and adulthood, the underlying agenda of our objectives and goals has been to be free, happy and comfortable in every emotional, physical, or spiritual aspect.
Even the Constitution of the United States guarantees us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
How long does it takes for an individual to understand that true happiness cannot be found in material things, inanimate objects or even in people? The “new toy” syndrome of clothes, cars, jobs, promotions, bonuses and even drugs and alcohol, quickly erode the appeal that any material possession might have.
Then what? It is true that for a moment, in all of these items, we feel that happiness and security that we are looking for. It’s a false sense of security.
Even though our actions may be wrong in pursuing these false gods, there is some glimmer of honor in why we are doing it. Our intentions are good, but our judgment and actions are wrong. Seeking happiness is not wrong.
We often look at other people and wonder, “If I could only be him/her, if I could only be like that, or have that job, then I would be happy. If I had this car or that car, then I’d be happy.”
Truth is, our souls long for something that the world cannot give. How long does it take for one to come to that conclusion? All our lives we continue to substitute one thing after the other in our pursuit of this inner peace.
There must be a point in everyone’s life that their thoughts turn to themselves. Sooner or later we must reflect on the shortness of Earthly satisfactions. Earthly joys vanish like a puff of smoke and what was supposed to bring happiness, too often brings sorrow and disappointment.
The Epistle for Trinity VII tells us that the end of those things is death. This is referring to spiritual death, the death of the soul from lack of care and spiritual sustenance.
Just as your body needs food and exercise, so the soul needs food and exercise. The reason Jesus Christ gives himself in Holy Communion is so that our souls can be fed regularly with his word and with his love.
By his own word, he is our food, our stay. We commune with him at the Eucharist (Holy Communion) as he dwells in us and we in him.
Only if we include the Lord in all that we do, can we find any true and lasting happiness and security. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Rev. George Ates is pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Traditional Anglican Church currently meeting in Susiun City He can be reached at www.stgabrielscalifornia.org.