For too much of my life I thought happiness must always be traded or exchanged for sadness or sorrow. Then when the sadness and sorrow had passed I felt I had earned the right to be happy again.
Many people, I suspect, are like me…almost scared to be too happy because it hurts more when it crashes and sorrow and hurt reign for extended intervals throughout our lives. When you think like that…it takes courage to be happy.
Once, however, you have faced the possibility of death ‘upclose and personal’….and, then, been blessed with the most beautiful gift of all…time, you suddenly, finally understand happiness for what it is….sheer exhilaration at simply being alive and seeing the beauty of the earth in ways you never did before.
It becomes much easier to pick our battles, prioritize our time, and work on leaving loving memories in our wake. Happiness becomes so deep-seeded that it is never forced but spontaneous, like life itself.
British author, Hannah Hurnard’s fascinating allegory of the journey of one woman in search of God, won her millions of fans when her book was first published in 1955.
She also includes an autobiographical segment on the changes in her life as reflected by her own happiness and awareness of God’s pure love and joy.
The following excerpt is a message she received one day while walking through a valley surrounded by slopes of daffodils. It was an experience that gave her a glimpse into the sheer state of happiness for those gone before us.
“The Message of the Narcissus”
One day Hannah took a walk down a rather slippery slope which lead to a wooded area and a valley far below. Covering all three terrains were multitudes and multitudes of Narcissus (daffodils and jonquils.)
When Hannah stopped and stood among the flowers she made a fascinating discovery. They all, without exception, faced down the hill as if straining to see the valleys far below. They all leaned forward in their desire to see something in the distance that made them eternally happy.
If standing among the hundreds of daffodils…Hannah saw only their shiny white backs…but if she turned and looked up the slopes she noticed, among the multitudes of daffodils….“little faces, each with a gold crown in their hearts.”
The message that went straight to her soul was beautiful, but not one she ever expected. The Narcissus spoke to her of “ all those who have learned the lesson of eternal love and have passed on before us through the veil of sense, into the realm of holy love in the light of God’s presence.”
Hannah recalls: There they were watching eagerly how we learn the same lesson…I could hear my parents’ voices: “Hannah it is happy to love. Abandon yourself to loving because love is life and eternal joy. Love is the only thing that matters.”
So until tomorrow “It is so happy to love without asking to be loved in return. Dare to be happy.”
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*We had wonderful comments in reference to the blog post: “The Same Self is in All of Us.“ I wanted to share some of these powerful perspectives with you.
Jo Dufford: There is always something new to see with our eyes, and also with our minds. I ride through some of the older streets in Summerville, and suddenly, I see a house for the first time, but it has always been there. Then I hear a scripture that I’ve probably heard a hundred times, but this time I really hear it as if for the first time, and I begin to see it entirely different.
Of course, it is always a blessing when we take time and allow ourselves to see the good in everyone. Isn’t it wonderful that God has let us live long enough to retire and to be able to take time to enjoy (and maybe really see for the first time) so many things that the pressures of our very busy younger working days wouldn’t allow? And maybe that’s how God planned it, so no matter how long we live, there will always be something new for us to keep us in awe of the world He created. So glad to see Big Red making a great come-back. You know she is now a little part of all of us.
*What a lesson! And the better we learn it (which is, ironically, impacted by time and circumstance), the more we live and love in His peace! Thanks for sharing.
*Funny thing is judging takes more work on our part because we have to justify it; whereas, loving others has already been justified… On The Cross