The small stuff

“They’re so poor, but they’re so happy,” is the saying spouted by people who have just returned from a youth group mission to Chad. Though clichéd, it has some truth.

Those “happy poor,” (happier than the more common “sad poor”) are more than an excellent placation to first world guilt. Happy poverty challenges the assumption that comfort is the means to happiness.

Everyone tethers their contentment to something, to circumstances. This something isn’t extravagant either. For example, yesterday, I staked my contentment to an evening of eating + earthlight. Yours might be a certain book and a coffee, the Spectrum and a swim, a comic book and some cereal: many possibilities exist (Notice the strange pattern here. Also, someone is enjoying “comic book + some cereal”)

Thing is, it isn’t easy staying cool when you’ve staked your happiness to a prospect, especially when that prospect disappoints. Believing that “This can’t go bad, because my expectations are so low” wasn’t sufficient to curtail the confusion and disappointment that set in when my perfect vision was undermined yesterday.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” people say (especially in the nineties.) However, it’s hard enough managing the ‘huge stuff.’ After satisfying the enormous expectations, the small stuff seems comparatively easy, and, more importantly earned. The small stuff owes me something. Evidently, it does not.

It seems hard for the comfortable to be happy. Their expectations corrupt them.

“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” says Christ.

When the “one thing” you think you need is small, the small stuff matters more than everything else.

It’s hard to pass through the eye of that needle.

*Doing things for other people might help

*Earthflight is crazy.

3 thoughts on “The small stuff

  1. I really enjoyed what I read and like what you are saying Daniel. Firstly that indeed the poor teach us things about ourselves….that we westerners may take on our society’s belief that comfort will lead to happiness (I can vouch for this in my personal life) but this shows our numbness and blindness to true happiness, the joy that is found in relationship with Christ and living in God’s Kingdom. Secondly that we, the comfortable, go to the small things to find comfort and pleasure yet we still can’t find it there because if we did it would matter more to us and be a bigger thing. I like the implication this has…we need to be questioning where we find our truest satisfaction – from God or man’s world. Do you think that resonates with Phillip Jensen’s roasting point to us on summit about the way hobbies cannot stand in for our ultimate purpose in life?

    • So happy that you enjoyed. Thanks for your honesty about the impossible and very human attempt to replace happiness in Christ with comfort.

      Yeah, Peter Jensen was pretty clear. But part of me has a conviction that the eternal is exposed through a person’s passions (even “hobbies”) Commitment to career or any
      other empowering pursuit should be honoured and not made to seem trivial. Christ makes this existance, each part of it, matter.

      Tell me your thoughts

  2. Pingback: The Truth « Danielnour's Blog

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