One of my Facebook friends and a fellow Gesu parishioner reminded me of another point Ron Rolheiser made on Monday night. Basically he was saying that the true measure of quality of life is not whether or not one is happy, but whether or not one finds meaning in life. I have to think about that a little more before I get completely on board with that.
I suppose it comes down to what one means by happiness… If it means the emotion I experience when I am with someone I love, or when a student finally gets a difficult concept, or when I see a beautiful sunset, then I agree with Ron. The warm, fuzzy feelings come and go, and so how I am feeling at some particular moment in time really misses the forest for the trees, I think.
I’m probably a bit more inclined to define true happiness as being in touch with a deep conviction that my life as God’s beloved has meaning and in the long run, no matter what happens, all shall be well. This means that despite hard times when I struggle with depression, illness, broken relationships, and all manner of hardship, I can still be “happy” at a deeper level if I can find meaning in my relationship with God and what I am experiencing. I think this could also be called “faith.” What do you think?
So, are you finding meaning in your life?