Dr. Will Durant, an American educator and philosopher who, with his wife, Ariel, wrote an 11-volume book, The Story of Civilization, was once asked to define happiness. Before he came up with one, he had to look back on all the wrong places he went to search for happiness. He admitted, “Many years I lost happiness. I sought in knowledge and found disillusionment. I sought in writing and found weariness of the flesh. I sought it in travel and my feet tired on the way. I sought it in wealth, and I found discord and worriment.”
In the end he found it . . . at home. Please listen to his discovery, “There can be no real and lasting happiness without love. There can be no fulfillment of life’s ultimate purpose without a successful marriage and a good family life.” Dr. Durant found his greatest happiness in relationships, in the simple joys of family life, as a husband and father, not as a journalist or an educator.
I did not—and do not—always make the right decisions. Looking back, I must say there was one decision that I got it right, though. Early on I decided to put my family first over my personal interests. I wasn’t always successful in keeping the priorities straight, but I tried. For instance, when our oldest child became a teenager, I cut down ministries to give time for us to do things together as a family. Oh, how much I enjoyed biking, watching movies, going out to eat, and swimming together. It’s truly one of the best times of my life.
Since it happened a long time ago, I had already forgotten about it, until our daughter recently reminded me of that. She told me how she appreciated the decision I made to cut down ministries so we could spend time together as a family. Yes, I remember, early on I made the decision to find my joy not in what I do, but in who I am.