fbpx

The word happiness has a fascinating etymology. Its root, hap-, appears in such words as perhaps and haply, but principally in happen. In some peculiar way, therefore, happiness has been seen as having something to do with the way things happen—or to give the matter its more usual name, with luck.

The English language seems to me to be on to something here. Specifically, it is on to the home truth that we cannot, in any ordinary sense, arrange for happiness; rather, happiness must somehow befall us. This truth is evidenced in many ways, but perhaps most accessible is the old wisecrack, “The Constitution may guarantee your right to the pursuit of happiness but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll catch up with it.”

Robert Farrar Capon, Health Money and Love, Eerdmans, 1990.

Don’t Miss

The Latest From Our Blog

Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.

The Three Words of Jesus You Need Most

The Three Words of Jesus You Need Most

One Sunday morning Argentinian Pastor Juan Carlos Ortiz stood up to preach and looked out at his congregation of about a thousand people. He smiled, “Love one another… Love one another…” (John 13:34-35, 15:12) The best-selling author of Disciple made eye contact with...

Listen for the Flutes

Listen for the Flutes

We must tune our ears to hear God’s voice. It’s like the child who was told by his father during a symphony orchestra concert, “Listen for the flutes in this song. Don’t they sound beautiful?” The child, unable to distinguish the flutes, looks up at his father with a...