Through forty years, I have meditated on Isak Dinesen’s three forms of true happiness. Much more than sports analogies await here, as you already see. Whenever we face a challenge—some kind of opponent—our imagination instantly delivers an assessment of our own resources. Can I meet it? Often, we fear not.
Many men I have met inside prison had more inner freedom than citizens outside who do not see the iron bars they live within. On those visits at Attica, I bore witness to more focused desire to grow than I have ever seen outside—not in churches, or seminars, or therapy groups.
It is not too simple to say of the whole human enterprise through thousands of years that at any moment, only one of two things is happening. Either we are cursing and struggling to be seen and loved. Or we are blessing and being peace.
Great question: Is Job blessed because things turned out well? Can he be happy–be satisfied, have peace, sing “It is well with my soul”–without the happy ending? Is Jesus blessed while he is on the cross, still unaware of what shall come? How critical to your own life–and even to the planet’s–your answer is!
When in the main a culture is unwilling or unable to ask the question of God’s absence, that people is unwilling and unable to be just, or even to hold the question, What is just?