Happiness: What if You Can’t Get There from Here?


Did you ever hear the story of the traveler who was lost in rural America? (This was before the invention of GPS.) He was hopelessly lost. Finally, he stopped and asked a farmer for directions on how to get to where he was going. After thinking for a minute, the farmer said, “Well now, you just can’t get there from here. You have to go somewhere else before you can go to where you want to be.”

lostYeah, it is a little convoluted, but it has something important to tell us about happiness. For like the lost man’s destination, you can’t get to happiness from where you are! And it doesn’t matter where you are. You just can’t get to the destination called Happiness from where you are. You must first head someplace else.

So, we need to talk about the relationship between flourishing and happiness. Follow this closely and it will make sense to you. Don’t hesitate to read it two or three times to make sure you understand it.

Flourishing is the OBJECTIVE condition.
Happiness is the SUBJECTIVE experience.

Flourishing is REALITY.
Happiness is EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE of the right kind of reality.

I am interested in helping you flourish/thrive. When you flourish, you will have the subjective experience of happiness. If you don’t flourish, you won’t be happy. In other words, you just can’t pursue happiness. You simply cannot get there from here. You have to head to another destination. You have to head toward the town called Flourishing.

Jesus didn’t say, “I came that you might have happiness.” Jesus said, “I came that you might have abundance of life” (flourishing).

It turns out that you have to flourish to be happy.
It turns out that you have to pursue something else if you want to experience happiness.
It turns out that happiness is a by-product of other more important things.

We just have to know what those other things are that make up The Flourishing Project. When we learn what they are and how to pursue them, we will probably experience, in a sustained way, happiness. Each week of the Get Real series, we will explore one new aspect of a flourishing life.

lost 02Jesus is not only the LIFE, he is the WAY. He is the WAY to LIFE. And that’s the TRUTH.

That is why we must follow Jesus to the place of flourishing.

Pastor Brian


Brian Rice

What I love most about my job:

Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.
Brian Rice

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