HAPPINESS IS A LAUGHING MATTER
The number one ingredient in the recipe for successful living is happiness, but the road to achievement is filled with bumps and curves. In order to develop a positive social environment, America’s youth must be taught the value of happiness. Not only should they be taught, but they must witness the art of successful living. It is unrealistic to expect positive behavior from America’s youth when they are completely surrounded by hate. The pulpits have become hate machines, and political platforms have become instruction books for hating. To turn the good book into a book of hate will one day be considered a big mistake for the Christian Church.
I am reminded of the days when I was a college student searching for my pursuit of happiness. I still wonder how I was able to make passing grades while I was struggling with my own sexuality. I knew I was not happy, and I spent years besieged with guilt because my sexual desires were not in accordance with my religious faith.
I will never forget the hours I spent on my knees begging the heavenly father to deliver me from a gay man’s body. And those other days when I was mad at God, and stormed at him for making me different. But I will never forget the day when I realized that my deliverance was in my acceptance. When I accepted myself as God had made me, it was the event that turned a troubled life into a life with a purpose. It was then I recognized he had given me a great gift in the form of an open mind. To be able to walk in another man’s shoes and to see the world through the eyes of another was the reason for my existence.
Finally my pursuit of happiness was complete. Today, I enjoy the same happiness that Sister Simmons experienced when she shouted during the week-long revival at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. I now experience the joy that Brother Will Taylor experienced when he shouted in the middle of the road because the joy of the Holy Spirit could not be contained until he reached the church. Today, I experience the happiness that Brother Meyers experienced when he preached so long and so hard that there was not a dry thread on his body, but he continued until he fell on his knees and started barking like a dog. To Brother Meyers, that was not a Billy Sunday Act, but a reality check when the Holy Spirit actually descended from heaven and took up residence in a physical body.
Happiness is the most valuable ingredient in the art of successful living.