THERE’S the story of a journalist interviewing two workers at a construction-site where a new church was being built. He asked what they were doing. One said: “I’m a brick-layer’’ but the other said “I’m building a cathedral’’. Perspective changes everything.
Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount is a surprising prescription for happiness. Implied in the Beatitudes is the idea that true happiness isn’t the same as immediate happiness.
Writer C.S. Lewis noted that he didn’t become a Christian in order to increase his present happiness. He said a bottle of port would have done that.
Lewis said if you were looking for immediate gratification, you might as well buy yourself a new purse or a new car rather than Christianity. The happiness Jesus promised had to be cultivated.
Author Alexandre Dumas said happiness was like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons.
“We must fight in order to conquer it,’’ he said.