I came across this tweet today and, honestly, immediately felt a little deflated by it, a little defeated. “Getting to good” as I’ve often articulated it in my mind and prayers has been a consistent goal of my life. Despite my feelings about the tweet’s message, I knew it spoke the truth, a truth I already knew: Wherever we go on this earth, “the world, the flesh, and the devil” have preceded us and meet us there. In protesting about this to God (Fr. John Cyr did say almost always, didn’t he?), a thought came to me:
There is but one Life, which is Christ. There is only life in Christ or death in the world.
As the Apostle John tells us, “all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16 ESV. Though we are encased in corrupt bodies upon a failing planet that groans for its redemption (Romans 8:22), it is not exactly our natural, terrestrial existence which precludes our happiness. Rather, is is the spiritual corruption within and the world’s schema without that bring about our death. There is no way to pursue our corrupt desires (whether sexually lustful, or greedy for possessions, or desirous of accolades, and so on) or flow with the world’s values and priorities and yet participate in the life of Christ. This life in Him, this constant abiding in Him is our happiness–in this life and in the next. For this reason, the Apostle Paul tells us “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:3-4 ESV
In light of that truth, what happiness could the world offer that would not somehow entangle and obscure our vision of Christ? To seek the happiness that does not deceive, we must, as Fr. John advises, pursue God. With that in mind, have an amazingly happy 2014.