But Will it Make Me Happy? 


The question for me regarding the validity of a religion is, does the philosophy match up to reality – does it produce real results that work across the spectrum of the various fields and areas that we inhabit as human beings? 

There are various ideas on having a successful business, as there are many fields of thought on the subject of bodily health and medicine. And the thing you’ve got to ask yourself after hearing the theories (and hopefully testing them in your head to see if they even seem coherent or make sense) is, “But does it work?” In other words, is it true? Does this idea match up to the reality of the world we live in, or is it a “nice idea,” but not at all practical? Even saying it that way clouds my meaning, because there are differing meanings of the word “practical.” So the question “does it actually work?” ends up being a better test in this space. 

And I think at the end of the day and when you get down to the full meaning intended by the verbiage used and the picture painted by the various religions, that Christianity is the one that the most “true.” It is the one religion that is big enough to not only match up to the reality of the conditions of life we find ourselves in as human beings, but also large enough to cover all the bases, beginning with the care of all the multitudinous needs of every individual man, woman and child on this earth. Once those are considered, we find that the Christian point of view then still has breadth to cover the needs of humanity considered as a whole, and of the creatures that coinhabit this earth with us, and of the planet itself. 

Once the needs of all the beings on the planet are considered, organized and arranged for, then we have the possibility of an operating system without missing code or bugs , and we have the potential for everything to work and flow smoothly in harmony and peace. And at that point, we have the possibility for peace and fulfillment for every individual within that system. When all the pieces are set to right, then you have a world that is conducive to the flourishing of the human mind, heart and soul, and the flower of that eudaimonea is the happiness we were looking for all along. 

But as Lewis says, you can’t get that flower of happiness by seeking out the flower first, or by trying to find “happiness” itself. You have to do the work of planting the right seed (one that will actually produce flowers), tending to the seedling and young plant, watering it, fertilizing it, and weeding it. And then, at some point after some considerable time has been spent in setting the plant right, all your labors pay off, and one morning when you had almost forgotten about the roses, you find your plant has flowered. 

Riane 

All Will Be Well

To Henry Cecil (1)

 

Dear Old Friend,

What can I say to you, for the hand of the Lord is heavy upon you. But it is his hand, and the very heaviness of it is good…. There is but one thought that can comfort, and that is that God is immeasurably more the father of our children than we are. It is all because he is our father that we are fathers…. It is all well – even in the face of such pain as yours – or the world goes to pieces for me.

It is well to say “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away,” but it is not enough. We must add, And the Lord will give again: “The gifts of God are without repentance.” He takes that he may give more closely – make more ours…. The bond is henceforth closer between you and your son….

 

To give a thing and take again

Is counted meanness among men ;

Still less to take what once is given

Can be the royal way of heaven!

 

But human hearts are crumbly stuff,

And never, never love enough;

And so God takes and, with a smile,

Puts our best things away awhile.

 

Some therefore weep, some rave, some scorn;

Some wish they never had been born.

Some humble grow at last and still,

And then God gives them what they will.

 

~ George MacDonald

 

(1) This letter was written on the occasion of the death of Cecil’s eldest son.

 

Strange Paths

My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not;
I think thy answers make me what I am.

Like weary waves thought follows upon thought,

But the still depth beneath is all thine own,

And there thou mov’st in paths to us unknown.

Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;

If the lion in us pray—thou answerest the lamb.
— George MacDonald