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Red Hot Read - A Firestorm for Your Mind » The Missing Ingredient to Happiness (a.k.a. Kay Day Slept Here)

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Controversial and Thought-Provoking Articles for the Savvy Christian

The Missing Ingredient to Happiness (a.k.a. Kay Day Slept Here)

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Tuesday

Savvy Article #0923

You will never find lasting happiness unless you find a certain ingredient in life. And neither will I.

Too much of what we do in this life leaves us empty. An activity may bring a temporary lift in spirits, but, like the classic taste of Cheetos, one Cheeto gives a burst of flavor, then calls us to eat one more until we’ve emptied the bag.

There should be something we can do to keep happiness around. One thing I’ve found that makes happiness stay is entering another person’s world.I know that God gives us joy. His Presence sustains even when circumstances are unhappy. But, as I discussed in my article Is God All We Need?, God created us with a need for people too.

Recently, my husband and I explored the deep crevices of Canon City, Colorado. We traveled there to celebrate our 30th anniversary, and were attracted to the train ride that follows the Arkansas river, and an adorable B&B near the highway.

We could have left it at that. Canon City is just another city—right?—with streets, homes, schools and restaurants.

But, Canon City has one other particular thing that makes it unique from all the othersmy friend Kay Day was raised there.

A tour of the city, from Kay’s perspective, was therefore necessary. Absolutely necessary.  And it was this tour that transformed a strange and impersonal city into a warm and familiar one.

As we rode into town, there was the Abbey where Catholic boys used to go to school. Kay says they were naughty.

Then there was her house where she tormented her parents (I mean, grew up), the two churches she attended, and where she was saved. There was the public pool where she was “traumatized,” a bowling alley where she threw gutter balls, and a strange domed house her aunt and uncle built and she helped paint. She used to bring her pony there.

The hospital has history for Kay. She worked there as a nurse and had two surgeries.  She admits that sometimes prisoners from local prisons come there for treatment. Yes, Canon City is loaded with prisons. Somehow, my friend Kay grew up without ever entering one as an inmate. To look for a husband, yes, but never as an inmate. :D

As my husband and I sat on the porch of the B&B late one night, the sounds of crickets filled the air. The moon hung in the sky and we made up stories and laughed. I felt, well, happy? Yes happy, but something more. Let’s call it SATISFIED.

Canon City was about a person now. And people. I’d gone there to celebrate my 30th anniversary of marrying someone I dearly love. That person adds more meaning to my life than I can say. And on top of that, Kay’s life stories had added meaning to the whole weekend.

The innkeepers, Lyn and Wendy, told us their stories too. We knew on whose porch we were sitting.

So, what makes happiness stay?  Happiness alone is ephemeral. Satisfaction is the magic ingredient that makes happiness stick.

Too often, we are so busy looking for happiness, we forget to look for satisfaction.

Many say, “you can’t take it with you.” Earthly things, no, you can’t take them to heaven. But our Christian brothers and sisters, those will follow us. People are eternal.

Perhaps that is why we feel satisfaction when we enter another person’s world. When we ask for a rundown of their day, with details, we feel close. That connection satisfies. When we enter another’s world, we get our minds off ourselves and experience lasting joy.

It is our relationships with God and people that bring satisfaction. The rest is fleeting.

“I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NASB)

“‘. . . And to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’” (Mark 12:33. NASB)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; . . .” (Romans 12:10 NASB.)

“. . . and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; . . .” (I Thessalonians 3:12 NASB)

“And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.” (Psalm 17:15 NIV)

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

Related article: Is God All We Need?

See Kay Day’s blog: Loop De Loops in La La Land

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


6 Responses to “The Missing Ingredient to Happiness (a.k.a. Kay Day Slept Here)”

  1. Another thing that I’ve read about happiness is that if you consider the temporal state of the moment, you will appreciate it more. You knew you were savoring a once in a lifetime experience with your hubbie. Even if you did it again, the “first time” would be obviated.

  2. Jan Parrish says:

    Beautiful post. A celebration of marriage and friendship.

  3. Joanna says:

    I love your post. A great reminder to invest in relationships with others, not things. Thanks!

  4. Denise Miller Holmes says:

    Lucille: Thank you for the added information about happiness. It was a special time for us.
    Jan: Yes, we went to celebrate marriage and also celebrated our friendship with Kay. We celebrated that we were leaving all those prisons behind in Canon City, too!
    Joanna: You’re right. Things do not satisfy. Neither does work if it isn’t somehow connected to people.

  5. Kay Day says:

    It was fun to share part of my life. Maybe next time we can go together for a Kay Day tour.

  6. Denise Miller Holmes says:

    Kay: Yes, seeing Canon City together would be great fun. I will also drag you along to Downey to see the Susan address and Warren High School. El Taco can’t be missed (the one on Firestone). We can skip Downey High, even though Mark went there. He is a Downey Viking, the Warren Bear’s nemesis.

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