Cheerfulness-A A +A
Thursday, March 7, 2013
CHEERFULNESS is the interior disposition which allows one to be joyful in good times as well as in bad.
“Cheerful” is the person who cracks jokes, doubles up in laughter at his own jokes, and wears a smile all the time. But “cheerful” is the person who doesn’t crack jokes, nor doubles up in laughter at his own jokes, nor wears anything but an expressionless face, but inside is joyful.
Especially “cheerful” is he if, unknown to others, he had just lost his job, went home to find his house burned to the ground, and the following day was left by his girlfriend for another.
In that sense, “cheerfulness” has more in common with “equanimity” or “serenity” than it has with “laughter” or “mirth.” A cheerful person has the capacity to be internally happy regardless of the circumstances.
Yes, it has to be, and it’s a choice which is a lot easier to make if one believes in God. Of course, atheists can be cheerful too, and most are, but it is when the going gets tough that will put to test how one is truly cheerful.
Only when one’s cheerfulness is anchored on an outside source could it be unshakeable. It’s God who provides that unshakeable foundation. Believing in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving Father who not only knows us personally and intimately, but who likes nothing for us but the best gives one that unshakeable anchor.
With a belief system like that, how can anyone fail to be cheerful? Of course, life is not a breeze, but isn’t that how life is meant to be? After all, didn’t God himself went through all possible difficulties there could possibly be?
“Divine filiation,” or believing in an all-powerful Father who likes nothing than what’s best for us, soon leads us to the secret of a happy life: abandonment to the will of God.
Sometimes, we ask a lot of questions. Why did this ailment come to me? We take a look at how financially scrapped we are and ask “Why am I so poor?
We ask these question tinged with bitterness, forgetting that wealth doesn’t always bring happiness, but illness or misery.
So we come to accept our ailment, our poverty and whatever it is we used to consider as problems, or even as punishment from above as one of those things in life, pesky yes, requiring from us extra effort yes, even demanding from us extraordinary patience – but ones coming from God, so these must be something which will ultimately work out to our own good.
Someday maybe we will have the chance to have the whole thing explained to us by God. I’m quite sure He will say something like this to us: “You used to complain that I did not make you as well-off as many of your former classmates are. My answer to you is: Why not?’ Did your poverty prevent you from getting to heaven, which after everything has been considered, is the only thing that truly matters? Couldn’t your poverty -- which I allowed – be the very reason why you are here with Me now, given your tendency to be profligate, spending your money on all sorts of foolish things everytime you find yourself with excess cash? Couldn’t it be that I precisely allowed you to be poor so that you will be far removed from the things that will surely separate you from Me if you have much money?
“Besides, didn’t I give you a loyal and loving wife, the only one in this world who could put up with your heavy snoring and incessant talking in your sleep? Why, any other lesser mortal would have left you long time ago. And your idiosyncracies – wanting to have your back scratched once in the morning and twice at night, demanding for your nightly massage – haven’t you considered how lucky you are to have been gifted with such a patient wife? And your tendency to wake up in the middle of the night with some imagined ailment and, rushing to the hospital -- did you think an ordinary wife could stand that?
“And your kids – didn’t I give you David, Teresa and Micah?
“And your beef against your so-called ‘poverty,’ was there ever a time that your table was not filled with food? Of course, fish, fruits and vegetables mainly, but would you like to know where you’d have been at age 50 had I filled your table with meat?”
The truth my friends is that often we have simply overlooked the abundant blessings God has given us and choose to concentrate on what we perceive we lack, which often are what would kill us.
Divine filiation and abandonment to the will of God -- if only we can get ourselves to embrace these two concepts we shall be on our road to cheerfulness. We will have peace. Not even the normal things that the world considers as miseries can take away our cheerfulness ,which does not depend on circumstances.
Our cheerfulness is even compatible with pain.
If we lack cheerfulness, let us not wait for it to come. Let us recover it by putting its foundation, through prayer, considering our divine filiations and forgetting ourselves. We have to be sowers of peace and joy: in the family, in the workplace, in social relations.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 08, 2013.