Friday, June 28, 2013

If It Makes You Happy

Actually, there's nothing wrong with the statement, "If it makes you happy, do it." My only quibble is with your definition of happiness, as a great man would say. There might be tons of things that give me pleasure of a sort, but they are not my blessedness or yours. When we're talking about happiness or blessedness, we are talking about our best and fullest selves, the most integrated with ourselves, others, and God as we can be.

There is a social dimension to everything, good and bad. That's why "public policy" is a real thing, not just a tag after someone's name. You hear people say, "You can't legislate morality." Bovine feces. We do it all the time. The only questions are, "Whose morality, and to what end?" Merits or demerits aside, the unstated minor premise of say, libertarian arguments against drug laws seems to be, "There is no social dimension to the use of drugs." Or, I suppose you could say, "The social dimension of drug use is not large enough to merit the government's attention and coercive power."

I digress. I'm beginning to learn what it means to "offer it up." The things we feel and the things we hope for are real things. It is no minor thing to bear the weight of a lost friendship, for example. The mystery of life is to take those real things in their energy and vitality--denying nothing of their power and meaning--and saying, "O God, these are yours." Not merely that they may be endured, but that they may be turned to God's will.

I could barely make it through the fourth mystery today, so powerful was the weight of what I carried. My mouth was stopped, and the tears began to well up. I cried one tear, perhaps the most meaningful I have ever cried. And I pressed on, adding a prayer of blessing for my friends.

It's starting to get crazy. I told God, "Whatever makes You happy," and I think I meant it. Quick! Someone bring me a drink and a Bible! [Why?--ed.] I don't know. I thought maybe there'd be an answer there.

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