What I love about America is…

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I love about America is…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

There it was. Did you catch it? It’s such an easy word to skip over. It flows off your tongue without much thought.

Pursuit.

What does it mean to pursue happiness? To pursue, is to seek after or chase something, to strive for it. There is no doubt that America is overflowing with persons striving for happiness. And I love that about America. I love that we are a people that wants to be happy; I love that we are a people that wants to be happy so much that we’ll strive after it. But don’t let it rule your life.

First, the idea of happiness is very abstract. Rich Mullins said it best, I think—“the more we pursue what we think we want, the more it eludes us. Or, we get what we think we want, and we find out we didn’t really want it in the first place.”

Second, while it’s important to chase after the things that burn inside of your heart, it is also important to live with the awareness that life is not all about you. Sometimes you have to do things that are difficult. Sometimes you need to make choices that seem to turn you farther away from that happiness you’re chasing. Sometimes you have to decide whether that promotion at work is as important as a person in your life. Sometimes you need to recognize that wanting something does not mean you should have it.

So yes! Pursuit your desires! Strive for happiness! Chase the things that you are interested in! But remember that happiness is not promised to any of us—and even if it were, you might find that happiness is fleeting and decide to pursue joy instead.

All my love,

Aunt Sarah

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