How Do We Insure Our Happiness, then?
The word “future” implies the unknown. It can change without notice, whether we want it or not. We are rarely prepared for change, because deep inside, we want the style of life to continue the way we have planned, desired and calculated. In real life, the slightest jolt in this illusory equilibrium can change everything overnight.
People may feel secure with their jobs, but a change in recruitment, redundancy or retirement policies, the profitability of the company, or even a falling out with the boss can change the whole scenario. We can’t even rely on others, because their emotions can change. Friendships can suddenly turn cold. Loving couples, having been married for years, suddenly find that they cannot tolerate each other anymore, or have found someone else, or feel the urge for freedom.
Change will happen in all aspects of life, sentiments, finance, career or even hobbies.
So how do we find stability in the midst of all this uncertainty? How does it benefit us to bear all the weight of the planning on our shoulders, when these plans are guaranteed NOT to come true?
Food for the Soul
I once came across a young lady in a supermarket. She had numerous calculators and devices with her. She was examining every product thoroughly, performing various calculations, and then moved on to the next item. This went on for a couple of hours until my curiosity got the better of me and I asked what she was doing. She explained that she was health conscious, and was trying to balance between the cost of the food against the best nutritious mix, including calorie count and fat content, and was assessing the overall results against her requirements.
I asked her if she believed in God, and she replied that she was an atheist. I did not respond, but her answer left an aching feeling in my heart. We are willing to spend hours and wealth, on rehab centres and treatments, just to maintain our bodies, health and beauty. Yet, we neglect our souls, leave them to starve, let them feed off on nothingness – when in actual fact, a healthy soul is our only assurance and insurance in life that we need to be concerned with.
Happiness cannot be purchased off the shelves. There is no such merchandise in the market which has joy, assurance, insurance, contentment and inner peace as part of its ingredients list. These are all vital nutrients for the soul, and the only one who can provide these for us is the Owner of your soul, being the Almighty Creator.
We are all chasing money, status, belongings, even love, because we believe it will make us happy. However, these pursuits merely tend to our external needs but disregard our internal yearnings. What do we achieve? We end up destroying our souls, inner peace and tranquillity.
Happiness is a condition that is internally generated, and it is something which only Allah can grant you.
Why is this? We think, in our own limited vision and knowledge, that we know what is the best for us. Whereas, it is the Owner of our souls that can comfort us with all the insurance and assurance we need. The One that can generate the insurance and assurance is the Creator, the One who can give us all this, because He is the owner of the decree and the future. He knows what we need, what is lacking in our lives, and how to make us feel safe. This comfort is more enduring that all our mad chase of material wealth and fame.
The stronger your bond with the Almighty, the more He will fulfil the needs of your soul, giving you happiness, contentment and security, while eradicating your sorrow, insecurity and worry. If we believe in Him, we will know for a fact that He will take care about us, the way He has taken care of us in the past, the way He took care about us today, the way He will take care about us tomorrow. This is all the assurance and insurance that anyone needs, and it is a beautiful, relaxing feeling.
This has nothing to do with any material accumulation, and explains why sometimes, the most impoverished of people are the ones with the widest smiles, whereas the wealthy look miserable and broken.
Someone once observed that of the beaches across this planet, you will find that the most spectacular ones are located in poor areas, where majority live below the poverty line. The natural inhabitants own little in worldly possessions, but the irony is that they get to enjoy paradise on earth every day for free, while the wealthy spend thousands of dollars to just visit and spend a few days.
It is common knowledge that the most luxurious places on earth, owned by the richest people on earth, from houses, palaces, yachts, gardens, are not enjoyed by the owner, but rather the staff who take care of these places – the housekeepers, maids, the babysitters and the nannies. The owners of all these places are too immersed with their own material demands to earn more, and so do not even have the time to enjoy all the places that they worked so hard to buy. Some can only spare a couple of days a year at these places. It is those in his employ who derive the full enjoyment of all these luxurious dwellings.
I hope by this moment you get my point, assurance, insurance, happiness and future are all in the hand of the Almighty, the Creator, and no one else. If you believe and trust in Him, live with Him and for Him, you will receive all that you are looking for and more. You have the rock solid recession and inflation proof assurance and insurance to know that even when things are not looking so great, everything will be fine in the end.
If you find this assurance, you will see that it does not matter what your external circumstances are. Even a prison can be your palace, if you have cultivated that special bond with the Creator.
There was a man, who had been imprisoned for 27 years for a crime he did not commit. He was deeply religious and had written many books on understanding in life. When he was finally released, a TV programme interview asked him to summarise what he had learnt during his time in jail.
The man replied that he had gained two elements. His time behind bars generated a real love and bond between him and God, and it allowed him to know how much the Creator loved him. His second element was that it was not worth it to sleep any night harbouring hate for his oppressors, for that hate would eventually eat him alive and not benefit him in any way. The anchor asked whether wanted to share any other knowledge, he said no, that was all he wanted to share.
This is what he gained in almost three decades in jail. He said that he achieved happiness in the prison cell, living in such a state of beautiful inner happiness and that his surroundings did not matter.
So many of us are in jail ourselves, we imprison ourselves in worry, doubt and insecurity, within our own invisible prisons, whereas so many people are in actual jails and have all the freedom and happiness of the soul – no bank account or villa required.
The whole thing is a journey of faith, nothing else.