The pursuit of happiness as God (and our Founders) intended

Last Sunday at Community Christian Church in Tamarac, we celebrated Pastor Scott Eynon’s 20th anniversary as leader of the church. We’ve been members and attending for ten years.

This week Pastor Scott continued his teaching series based on the book The Story. Today we were on chapter six, entitled Wandering, and his message was not just appropriate for us his flock, but for America.

For those of you not familiar with the book, we’re at the point where the children of Israel, after having received the Ten Commandments, are set adrift to wander in the desert because of their belligerence.

What was supposed to have taken just eleven days ended up taking 40 years (Deuteronomy 1:2-3). Pastor Scott began by stating that God is not a big fan of the most direct or scenic route. He stated that, “God’s way is rarely the quickest way and it is seldom the easiest way, but it is the best way.” Scott emphasized that, “God is more concerned about who you are, and developing our character, than where you are going.”

In other words, God is more concerned about the journey than the destination. However, our impatient, impulsive, and impetuous “are we there yet” manner causes our focus to be diametrically opposed. What Pastor Scott stressed was that the wandering of the children of Israel was a direct result of their whining, complaining, and lack of gratitude for what God had done for them. It took one day and a night to get the Israelites out of Egypt but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of the Israelites.

As I sat there, I began to see the correlation of the Israelite wandering and the wandering of the American people. Pastor Scott had defined the word wandering as “living in the space between where you start and where you want to be.”

America is in that space and we are wandering because we have forgotten the blessings of liberty and freedom fought for and passed down by our Founding Fathers. We are forgetting that in our Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson articulated that “our unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” come from our Creator, God — not man. You see the “pursuit of happiness” is the journey upon which we can all freely embark. It may not be rosy and easy, but it is the God-given opportunity and choice that we as Americans possess. In contrast — actually the antithesis — is the focus on the destination, the “guarantee of happiness” which some believe they can actually provide.

Just in the case of the dissenters within the Israelites, we have complainers in America who disparage those who embark upon a journey leading to individual success and achievement. And those dissenters proffer slogans such as “shared prosperity,” “income inequality,” and “fair share.” These complainers and dissenters believe they can redistribute happiness in order to bring everyone to a common destination — when actually history proves they only bring everyone to a common misery.

These dissenters — whom we have come to know as modern-day liberals (as opposed to classical liberals), progressives and/or socialists, make inane statements such as “trapped by jobs” and “liberate from work” in order to make us take the exit ramp from our individual journey and wait for their collective bus which will speed us to their intended destination.

The problem is, the bus is overcrowded, run-down, and cannot operate unless parts and gas are taken from those not riding the bus on their journey — by force and coercion. In the end, individuals stop taking journeys or too many are on the bus, and no one reaches the destination.

You see, the Israelites spent 40 years to reach the promised land. Americans have already been blessed with a land flowing with milk and honey. Our wandering comes from those trying to make us believe that life is about fairness, equality of outcomes and not about our own individual journey.

As Pastor Scott said, “suffering is inevitable, misery is optional, happiness is a choice.” It seems Scott and Benjamin Franklin have the same idea, as Franklin’s idea was “The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” And you can only catch happiness on an individual journey, not collectively.

So, let us heed Pastor Scott Eynon’s lesson using the example of the wandering of the children of Israel. Be gracious, start your journey, be in the pursuit of happiness and don’t exit the ramp waiting for someone to guarantee it. Take responsibility, do not seek to cast blame and live life to the fullest.

I will leave you with Scott’s closing verse from today’s Sermon. Phillipians 2:14-15 (NIV), “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” God bless and have a great Sunday. As always, steadfast and loyal.

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27 Comments on "The pursuit of happiness as God (and our Founders) intended"

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jstan442
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very true and uplifting statements-we must remember our roots—-thanx for all you do mr. west

Leshne Donna
Guest

From the people who would rather the Jews fell off the face of the earth — I think not…

B. Barbosa
Guest

People need to see this, Our similarities to Israel in the bible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GyZZmhE66k

Reba
Guest

Thank you

Diane
Guest

We are blessed to have you share the Lord’s truth with us. May Our Lord continue to bless you and may God Bless America!!!

Verna Charter
Guest

Couldn’t read several words at the end of the sentences because of the ads on the side. Must be my computer, no one else complained.

cmoore0307
Guest

It showed up fine for me. Refresh the article or maybe try a reboot of your computer?

Reba
Guest

While your in the Article, Refresh your Computer.

Jimmie R. Applegate
Guest

Col. West, thank you for sharing your study of The Story. I attend the First Christian Church in Ellensburg, WA. and we just completed Chapter 18, Daniel in Exile in “The Story” today. Pastor Donald Green ties the events described in the chapters to today’s world. What an exciting way to study The Bible and the lessons taught therein.

Miketrt
Guest

What, A white pastor!? Uncle Tom! (Tongue-in-cheek…)

Miketrt
Guest
Maybe pertinent: Thomas Jefferson said the following – how prescient it is in this pre-tyrannical state we live in: God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country can preserve its li…berties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of… Read more »
maria maria maria
Guest

Allen I have a question for you.. why do you avoid calling them by their name Jewish people instead all the time you have changed it to Israelites? What is your reasong to do this change?

Bob Hardy
Guest

The term Jew is derived from the Hebrew word Yehudim (pronunced “Jehuˈdim”). It means “Sons of Israel.” But more specifically refers to descendants from the Kingdom of Judah.

The Kingdom of Judah, the “Jews” did not come about until after the Israelites entered the promised land.

The Kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity and dispersed; they never returned to their land. They are known as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

ShilohKB
Guest

YHVH called us , his people, the nation of Israel or Israelites….the name ‘Jews’ came from the tribe of Judah/ Yehudah … incidentally there is no ‘Jay’ initial sound in Hebrew at all !

Mary Brown Vaughan
Guest

Mr. West, I must sound like a complete broken record by now, but the truth is the truth. You are truly an inspiration and the information you share is always of great interest and relevance and I enjoy it thoroughly. We are all blessed to have you fighting alongside those of us who still believe in freedom and America. Please continue doing what you do Mr. West. It is surely appreciated by so very many. God Bless.

ajt
Guest

OH!! how I wish this man was our President.

kfmcgahey
Guest

“Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams.

Quote contained in Ben Carson’s book, “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great”.

Paul Collier
Guest
The people of God, the Israelites, the Jews were condemned to 40 years wandering the desert because 10 out of 12 scouts gave a coward’s report of the potential invasion of Canaan and the people sided with the 10 and not the 2 who were faithful, Joshua and Caleb. The progressives are more like the Egyptians, not the people of God. I really like you and agree with most of the things you say, but I don’t agree with this interpretation of scripture and extrapolation onto the present-day state of America- read Jeremiah- this is a more accurate comparison to… Read more »
Shirley Ann Smith-Rhodes
Guest
Shirley Ann Smith-Rhodes
God Bless, Protect and Prosper you Colonel West! I love all of your articles and agree with you! There are times when I think there is No Hope for America… But then I am encouraged by the conversation Abraham had with God regarding Sodom and Gomorrah! We have millions in our Nation who have NOT BOWED THEIR KNEE TO BAAL… Good, Christians who love God and their Country! I believe God Will HELP us! 11Chronicles 7:14 “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked… Read more »
The Story Team
Guest
Dear Col. West, First of all, thank you for your service to our country. America is still free because of you and countless other brave servicemen/women. So, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Second, thank you for mentioning The Story on your Facebook page and website. The Story – carefully selected Scripture arranged chronologically from Genesis to Revelation – has been a wonderful tool to bring people closer to God and give them a deeper understanding of His unfolding plan for the world…and their lives. Churches, small groups, and individuals are being blessed by The Story –… Read more »
Gordon Waite
Guest

The more we deny God the worse off we as a country will be.

AmazedHuman
Guest

Two things to comment on. The Story is fantastic I am so happy to hear Allen West has connected with this. The more people, the better! And second, I so wish Allen West was our president. This former military man is wise and wonderful. I’d vote for him in a heartbeat!

Kitten
Guest
There are generations who haven’t forgotten but it’s the younger ones who were never taught that we have failed. We’ve allowed the Communist, free loving, radicals of the 60’s to take over our nation bit by bit until they’ve entrenched themselves. They’ve drugged and brainwashed a couple of generations and have incited racism into the hearts of minorities who would have done way better without the Democratic Progressive’s leading them to the trough. We need change and we need it now. I don’t care if Obama is the first black president. He’s a terrible leader who doesn’t serve the office… Read more »
Mike
Guest

The Liberals have embarked on a journey who’s end result is the same exact result Communism causes.

YET they say they aren’t communists! OR They say, “what’s’ wrong with communism?”
Depending on which stupid Liberal you are speaking to at the time of course.

g55rumpy
Guest

i was “liberate from work”. my body broke and i became a cripple. and no, i`m not having any fun

Thomas Nelson Hicks
Guest

I am one who can relate to the long journey in the wilderness and am grateful for every breath I take and I savior every bite of life as if it were my last, for I deserve nothing ! The only fear I have is a life without Christ ! Gods Grace is Sufficient , so today I have no fear, Amen !

PATRIOT.WW48
Guest

Lt. Col. when are you going to ask forgiveness for helping o give us NDAA