On the last night, however, I was done with the sporting life but lost the vote (4 to 1) to stay in by a fire and watch a movie. Todd and the boys wanted to pack in a few more hours of skiing, but graciously suggested that I could retire my Michelan suit for the evening and stay inside! So, there I sat on a fluffy couch with a TV remote in my hand, feeling a bit like the beer commercial guy looks. After a few minutes of surfing, I landed on the Lifetime Channel several minutes into a movie starring Heather Locklear. It was pretty much your typical made-for-TV deal, but something had me hooked and I hung with it to the end. I learned a lot, too.
I can't remember the name of the movie, but the character played by Heather Locklear, a mother of two young children, is recently divorced and off on a solo trip to Hawaii to celebrate her 40th birthday. She hooks up with a 20-something surf instructor and spends the rest of the movie going back and forth between Hawaii to keep the affair alive. In the end, "love" prevails and there is the suggestion of a happy albeit complicated ever after.
The Theme: Pursue Happiness At All Costs
Have you ever fed a ticket machine at Chuck 'E Cheese? It makes those gobbling, snarfing, chomping sounds as it devours the ticket. That's how this movie struck me. I imagined all the people out there bug-eyed on a sofa watching this movie. Choking down a message about pursuing happiness at all costs. Justifying selfish, destructive behavior by passing it off as being in the best interest of someone else. Harmless Hollywood chick flick fare? Maybe so. Maybe not.
Much has been written on this subject in recent years, but someone said it best who said that "God is most concerned about our holiness not our happiness." Happiness is a fleeting and transient emotion that derives principally from man-made sources. And as quickly as it comes, it goes. So, when we chase off with blinders to God in pursuit of earthly pleasures and treasures, we are grabbing at fog. Not to suggest that we as Christians can't or shouldn't be happy or enjoy the state of happiness. My laughter is now officially a source of embarrassment to my tween who has hit the I-would-rather-die-than-draw-attention-to-myself stage. "Can you control that?" he often pleads. Through Christ Jesus, we are free to know joy. But when the pursuit of fun becomes life's driver, edging out our focus on Christ, we become vulnerable to temptation and high-wire instability. We say and do reckless things that threaten our primary relationships and our Christian vision ices over.
Question: What makes you happy? Why?