Real HappinessPosted: April 29, 2008
I just watched Into the Wild. It’s a movie based on a true story about an Emory graduate that leaves his prestigious college degree, large savings, & the promise of a bright future in search of the truth of his existence. For Christopher McCandless, truth lies in the wilderness of Alaska. If you haven’t watched it, I’d recommend it.
Honestly, it spoke loudly to my natural desire for rebellion against all that is status quo & my innate urge for exploration. I think all men (and some women) will appreciate a movie like this, because it’s at the heart of who we are. We are restless creatures in search of adventure to define our reality. (As an aside, I think this is why X-Games have become so popular in our age. We’re attempting to break the boundaries of sports to find a greater reality of human existence.)
Anyway, the point of this post was an insightful line highlighted in this movie. After a long journey of trying to “find” himself, Christopher comes to the end of the road, squarely facing death cooped up in an abandoned bus in the middle of Alaska. As part of his memoirs and last etchings into his life’s writing, he scribbles, “Happiness only real when shared”. What a profound statement! In an attempt to run away from society and all the cultural pressures to conform, Christopher sought truth & clarity in an ascetic life in the wilderness. But on his deathbed, he comes to a haunting epiphany. There is no happiness if it cannot be shared with another.
That is the reality of Christian life. We are to share in this life together. It is called the Fellowship of Believers. We are the Body of Christ. True joy is shared. But this world’s message is entirely different. It says that we are individuals. We are all on our own journey to find ourselves. We are alone. But in this age of radical individualism, I’m convinced we are to live in counter-cultural community. Let us be the body of Christ that shows that “happiness is only real when shared.”