Vol.V No.III Pg.5
May 1968

Happiness Is . . .

Robert F. Turner

Did you ever see a man fishing in the desert? Casting a lure into a cholia patch; stretching a trot-line across a dry wash? No, because fish do not live in the desert; it is not their element. But I have seen men looking for happiness in a bottle -- with as little success, and for the same reason. Happiness does not come in bottles, or cans, or draft.

Happiness is a state or condition of mind; secured by a wide variety of things, properly used. Since the benefit depends upon the use, happiness really comes from within the benefactor, and "things" are but tools which may or may not produce the desired results. However, experience has associated certain "things" with happiness; among them: long life, friends, sense of purpose or direction, health, wealth, and love. And the wise man, Solomon, tells us where to seek all of these wonderful ingredients. Open your Bible to Prov. 3: and proceed.

Vs.1-2: Length of days and years, with peace, depend upon proper respect for law, or teaching. They are not found in anarchy or rebellion. It is authority, not "hippy freedom" that promises long useful life.

Vs.3-4: Favor, and more important, being "understood" (here is true friendship) must be earned with kindness and truth (love and fidelity) on our part. A friendless man is not being cheated by the world; he has failed to give society the "makings" (Ask Bull Durham what that means.)

Vs.5-6: Lacking a goal, we wander aimless and hapless. Foolish pride and self-centeredness only compound our misery. "Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart... and He will direct thy paths."

Vs. 7-8: Dissipation is sin; and all evil is in conflict with the physical tabernacle which houses our immortal soul. Although a sin-cursed world affects even the pure in it, we must "depart from evil" for health.

Vs. 9-10: The man who thinks he would generous be, if wealth should be his lot; should ask himself what he's doing now, with the dollar and a quarter he's got (One of my better poems!). When we shovel out, God shovels in (2 Cor. 9:6) and God has a bigger shovel. "Honor Jehovah with thy substance.so shall thy barns be filled.."

Vs. 11-12: And for real love, a love that sees our faults and reprimands for our sakes, we must submit to the authority of heaven. Worldly "friends" will not understand this change in us -- they'll "think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot -- (1 Pet. 4:1-5) and we may have to "suffer as a Christian" (vs.12-19) but God's love will more than suffice for our suffering.

HAPPY IS THE MAN THAT FINDETH WISDOM, AND THE MAN THAT GETTETH UNDERSTANDING. If you have read Prov. 3:1-12, and given serious thought to the points suggested above -- as taken from the text -- you are now ready to read Prov. 3:13-18: and "the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; (Prov. 1:7; Eccl. 12:13-14)

Happiness Is With God Almighty!