Marshall Vian Summers wrote a beautiful song entitled “God’s Will for Me is Perfect Happiness.” He sings it in churches and sanctuaries around the world. He has shared that people approach him and argue with the message, claiming that God’s will is less benevolent. Happiness seems to have no place in a worldview where sin, punishment, damnation and the need for repentance dominate our theological commons. We are shaped by the myth of an angry God. Yet when we step outside of our beliefs and enter the experience of God we enter a state of happiness.
When we think of happiness we tend to imagine pleasant encounters that take us out of our lives and away from the world around us. Happiness is often associated with escaping reality. Yet this is not the experience of happiness. For true happiness is the experience of being with life. Whenever we are truly being with anyone or anything we enter the experience of being with God.
This state of perfect happiness need not be reserved for formal spiritual experience. It is available every moment. “Whatever genuine pleasure you derive from any person, any place or any object is because you are experiencing God.”1 The degree to which we can experience happiness, affinity, love and fulfillment is a reflection of our ability to experience our relationship with God.
Our relationship with God is distinct from what we think about God. Our ability to access our relationship with God is shaped, and sadly can be hindered, by our thoughts about God. Releasing these negative associations takes work. We must work our way out of the desire to be separate. We must relinquish the desire to find a dark place to hide. We must cultivate the desire and capacity to experience love and inclusion. The result is a pure experience of God. The sense of fulfillment and happiness this produces is unmatched by worldly pleasures. The experience of perfect happiness awaits us, may we do our work.