Knowing how to manufacture happiness is a lost art, I fear. We turn to so many things to fill the voids and the abysses and the crevices and the cracks...we put our trust and faith in so many people and things, money and food and pleasure and technology. And yet, we have been given the ingredients and ability to manufacture happiness for ourselves, without any assistance from anything mortal.
And happiness has nothing to do with a lack of pain. We smile through the brokeness because we can build over the top of it. Sometimes that building is a rickety bridge, and we have to tiptoe over it, but we cross unscathed. Perhaps the odd splinter, but more or less unharmed.
We can build happiness side by side with other people, but believe me...you must work on your own structure. Don't try to build another person's happiness with your own two hands. By all means, reach out and save it if it starts to topple, but don't try to push it back up all by yourself. It's THEIR happiness. Let them do it. Let them try. They need to try. And perhaps they'll repay you by lending you a hand on a toppling sort of day, too.
It's hard to see the building materials on a foggy day, when everything seems dreary and out of focus. It's hard to build anything when it's humid, or when the world is frozen, or when your blood just won't warm you. But you can do it. It's been done millions of times by millions of people before you, and it will be done again. By you. Today. Rub your hands together for warmth. Stick your face in a bucket of ice water. Refresh, renew, and then start again.
There's no blueprint to hold. Just you, and your Maker, and the makings He gave to you. There's no instruction manual for the wiring, aside from the Words He has spoken. There's nothing you need to buy, or beg, or steal. Forgiveness is given freely to you. And there's nothing you need to accept, just the grace to build.
And rebuild. And rebuild. And rebuild again.
Then click on the light, bask in the glow, dance across the foyer, trip across the bridges, run up and down the stairways, feel the intricacy of the knots in the walls, sing aloud and let your voice echo in the rafters, stand in the window at the top of the stairs and gaze out on the world that's gazing up at you, saying, "Wow. You look really happy."
And you don't have to say a word. Just smile.