I was a high school coach for many years. I have also cheered on countless teams in competition. And I have been caught up in the swirl of last-minute victories and Cinderella successes. Yet at the end of the day, there is only one outcome. One team wins while the other loses. Some are happy while others are heartbroken. One person finds success while someone else fails.
This same scenario is repeated ad infinitum. Someone finds power by pushing his competitors down. Gains wealth by making others poor. Garners fame by grabbing the spotlight from others. Everywhere you look, happiness is assumed to be a fixed sum. If you snatch more of it, then someone else will have less. If you take more of the pie, then someone else will get less. But if this is how happiness is found, then every conflict, every spat, even every war can be justified. We are forever in a competition with winners and losers.
Yet whenever happiness is gained in this way, it turns out to be a mirage. It is as ephemeral as the fog. It fades as soon as we grasp it. We are left aching and thirsty again. There is no true happiness here. There never was. It was always an illusion.
Whatever true happiness is, it cannot be a fixed portion to be divvied out with some gaining more while others gain less. It must be found in something that increases as it is shared. It must be found in something that multiplies as it is divided. This is the mystery of true happiness. It is also the miracle.
Jesus said that true happiness could only be found in His company. He will not be divvied out to losers and winners as if His being could be partitioned up by competitors. Instead, He is the fountain out of which springs living water that has no end. The more we drink, the more there is. The more we share, the more it flows. Until we learn to drink from this fountain, all others will leave us dry and arid. Our hearts will become dry and withered landscapes that will eventually be blown away as dust.
But that does not have to be anyone's destiny. Today is the day of His salvation. Today is the day of true happiness. This is the day to satisfy your thirst at this fountain. Come and drink from Him.
And don't worry. There will always be more for you tomorrow.
Bill Delvaux is a graduate of Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has served as a pastor, and a high school Bible teacher. Presently, he leads Landmark Journey Ministries as a speaker, small group coach, and author of Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree and Landmarks: Turning Points on Your Journey Toward God. Bill also serves as content editor for Stand Firm, LifeWay's devotional magazine for men. He and his wife have two grown daughters and reside in Franklin, TN. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillDelvaux.