Happiness and Satisfaction
I once lived on the edge of the Amazon jungle and had some contact with some of its indigenous peoples. On one occasion, I was invited to a wedding. It was quite an experience - very different from anything I’d seen in North America. One of the greatest contrasts was the element of drama which was expected to be played out.
As the bride was prepared by her friends for the wedding, she was expected to weep and lament and be very sorrowful. Then her husband to be was to show up with some of his friends, scare the girls away and kidnap the bride to take her back to his family. Other highly stylized activities went on as the bride’s and groom’s families came together. It all ended in high spirits with feasting and ceremonial dancing in which the parents of the couple demonstrated their acceptance of the wedding and the linking of their two families.
It was humourous to all on-lookers as the bride, who was deeply in love with the groom and very excited about the wedding, tried to contort her face into an appropriately grief-stricken expression. These attempts usually melted into hilarity as her friends responded with laughter to her efforts to conform to the expectations of their cultural traditions.
The fact was, Anna knew she was loved. She knew that she was already accepted into her husband’s family. She was following her heart. She was not merely satisfied with Mateo, she was thrilled with him. No one else would do!
As I reflected on this, I realized that I had never seen an unhappy wedding party (though I realize my experience is limited). What is it about a new couple which makes them so happy and content? Is it possible for the rest of us to know this kind of happiness and contentment at an even deeper and lasting level? I believe it is.
In Psalm 65:4 we read these words the writer addresses to God, “Blessed (happy) are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. The most profound feelings of happiness result from knowing we are chosen by God and that He fills our lives with spiritual blessings. These may include material aspects, but the kind of acceptance and satisfaction God extends to us in the spiritual realm causes the material blessings to fade into insignificance.
Most of us have observed, either in our own lives or in the lives of those close to us, that the happiness and contentment associated with a wedding can give way to misery and discontent. It doesn’t really matter what we might turn to in the effort to find these illusive goals, they will eventually betray our trust. Even if we manage to accumulate things which will last beyond our own life, at the end our ability to enjoy them is impaired and ultimately we must leave them behind.
Only when we turn to God and experience His acceptance and the fullness of His blessing, will we be able to relax from our efforts and rest in the happiness and contentment of knowing that we are loved without conditions and that every provision for our ultimate satisfaction has been made.
Happy people are satisfied with God and His provision for them.
© October 2007