To wrap this year up, I had to borrow this quote from my wonderful daughter's blog. You can fall in love with her here: The Secret Life of Bee.
“I actually attack the concept of
happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the
idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to
me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in
Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that
we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy
today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our
birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is
the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be
striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration,
failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and
victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us,
but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and
then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer
up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word
“happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself
“is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day,
This year, 2012, has been...unexpected. This year has not turned out the way that I would have anticipated or hoped in many different aspects. Things have come out of the blue and demanded attention when I would have rather not have dealt with them. I am trying to get my feet back under me again, and to learn what God would have me learn from these experiences. Hence my loving this quote when I read it. I don't believe that God wants us to be happy so much as he wants us to have joy...and that is where the wholeness comes in. Love that. In all that does or does not happen to me and those around me, I am being made whole. I will refuse to give up on that and I will seek it through the darkest times.
My prayer for the new year is that we will all seek to be whole, whatever that may mean in our own lives.