CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter
From time to time, I see the phrase, “You deserve to be happy.” It’s often in an ad for some product or seminar or event that will replace your tears with smiles.
When I was speaking often at gatherings of cancer patients, it was not unusual for someone to say, “When I told my husband I had been diagnosed with cancer, he said, ‘I can’t deal with this. I deserve to be happy,’ and he left.”
“Happiness” is often a code word for “selfishness.”
I’m not sure about deserving. Why does anyone deserve anything?
So often we settle for happiness when we could have joy. There’s nothing wrong with happiness. It’s a good thing. But if you think you deserve it, that’s a chimera, and it leads you into the long weeds. But if you know that happiness is a gift, that opens the door to joy.