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The Happiest Place In The World
Where is the happiest place in the world? Is it a tropical village where the temperature is perfect all year round? Is it a peaceful region that features lakes and a hillside setting? How about a house out in the country where cattle and sheep graze, and the morning air is filled with the sweet and happy songs and sounds of God's contented creatures? Well, to some, these may indeed be happy places, but these are not necessarily the happiest of all. I hope I didn't mislead you because I am not thinking about a geographical location, but rather a state of mind. I suppose not everyone will share my unqualified opinion regarding what constitutes real happiness, but since I have the favorable advantage of editing this humble newsletter, I trust our readers will patiently read as I offer it nonetheless. Of course, my own personal experiences as a Christian and minister probably play a big part in my way of thinking, as well. In a nutshell, I believe the happiest place in the world is the place where we feel the closest to God. It may be called, being in the center of God's will for our life, doing His perfect will, helping others, etc. Whatever we do, and no matter where we do it, it is that activity that makes us feel close to God. A gifted and noted Christian hymn-writer of the past, Cleland B. Mcafee, expressed it this way in a beloved favorite melody of many believers: "There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God; a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God. O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us who wait before thee near to the heart of God." Here is an item I found recently in concerning happiness: [A fascinating study on the principle of the Golden Rule was conducted by Bernard Rimland, director of the Institute for Child Behavior Research. Rimland found that "The happiest people are those who help others." Each person involved in the study was asked to list ten people he knew best and to label them as happy or not happy. Then they were to go through the list again and label each one as selfish or unselfish, using the following definition of selfishness: a stable tendency to devote one's time and resources to one's own interests and welfare, an unwillingness to inconvenience one's self for others." In categorizing the results, Rimland found that all of the people labeled happy were also labeled unselfish. He wrote that those "whose activities are devoted to bringing themselves happiness...are far less likely to be happy than those whose efforts are devoted to making others happy"] I am reminded of the account in John, Chapter 4 of Jesus' encounter with a society-rejected Samaritan woman. When His disciples came back with his lunch, entreating him to eat, they wondered why he continued conversing with the woman instead. Jesus told them: I have meat that ye know not of. The disciples thought he meant someone had brought him something to eat while they were gone, but Jesus added plainly, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and finish His work. What Christ was trying to teach them then was unclear, but they would later come to know exactly what He was trying to convey. To make it simple, this was the lesson: Just as many people are the happiest when they're eating, those who love and serve Christ are the happiest when they can touch the lives of others. That is doing the will of God, and that in turn brings us near to Him. And you know, there is no happier place in all the world. Dear reader, have you come to that place yet?
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