Are You Happy?

Long drives are golden when it comes to thinking time. On the way home from a short trip to Oklahoma, while my mom leaned back for a nap, I spent a few hours in the driver’s seat, thinking about the journey of my life so far.


Events from eleven months ago had me spinning in more directions then I could see. My dad’s passing. Acceptance into the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Artist Leadership Program. All within two days of each other.

Where had I been? Where was I going? Where was I now?

Are you happy?

The question caught me off guard. I debated it a moment, thinking I would have a quick answer. I didn’t. Instead, more questions came.

What is happiness? What I am pursing? What is the purpose in all this?

Since childhood, my desire has been to honor and glorify God. But does that make you happy? My mind attacked the very definition of happiness.

How does the world define it? How does God define it? How do I define it?

Few people in the world are happy by any definition. They wish they were married. They wish they were single. They wish they had their dream job. They wish they could go back to their old one.

Are you happy?

Am I? As the Oklahoma road wound up another climb, I asked myself the question over and over. How should I define happiness? Giggles in my stomach all the time? Unfettered laughter bubbling constantly from my lips? No more tears?

No. It’s something deeper than that. Something no trial or sadness in the world can touch when it swoops in to steal your joy.

It’s satisfaction. It’s knowing that in comparison to the thousands of years the human race has existed, yours is just a flash in time. It’s here and gone with a few rotations of the earth. It’s knowing in that time, you are living for the one thing that last, the one thing no amount of time or grief can crush.

Almighty God.

When I focus on Him, not my own desires or happiness, is where true satisfaction resides.

Well you may ask me if I'm happy

If I have sweet peace within

If I'm worried about tomorrow

When I reach my journey's end

When he was a young man, my daddy envisioned himself as the next Billy Sunday. In the last few years of his life, he sang at a small church. Nursing homes. The county jail. In those last few years, he said he felt he was doing what God wanted him to do. I believe he was satisfied.

And as I face the coming one year anniversary of when my world spun out of control, I know I am satisfied. I am happy.

When my eyes are closed in death

With my Jesus I'll be at rest

Then you'll know I'm satisfied

Are you happy?