By Cody Knapik
In the past twenty-four hours I had a line of a movie pop into my head. That line is by Will Smith’s character, Christopher Gardner, in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. In that movie Christopher is talking to his son, and he says, “You got a dream… But you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” The reason this quote has been in my mind all day is because today I spent time on that pursuit of happiness. We had the opportunity to go to the Thailand zoo today. The whole time I was there, the only thing I wanted to do was ride an elephant. I knew no matter what happened, as long as I got to ride an elephant, then my day would be made… Well today was the day. As I walked up to the booth to get my ticket, I knew that happiness was going to be achieved. There I waited for my elephant to show up, and as I watched it walk closer and closer, the happier I became. It was time to ride. I then got on its back as happy as could be, grinning from cheek to cheek. And after five minutes, all that rush vanished. For the next 15 minutes I thought and reflected about God in my life and all the excitement and happiness that I receive from God. This moment while being on the elephant was wonderful, the happiest part of my day – the time with my Lord.
So many times I think we see this pursuit of happiness as doing things we normally don’t get to do, or getting material wants. But, we as Christians forget that TRUE happiness is only from God. All month leading up to this pilgrimage, all I wanted to do was ride an elephant, and once I was on that elephant, all I wanted to do was spend time with God and the creation that God provided. It was at that moment that I realized I have been happy for a long time. It was at that moment that I realized that I would always have happiness because I have God.
Happiness was summed up to me Sunday by a little Thai woman, and she said it so beautifully, “I follow God and I am Christian, not because it is normal, but because it is what makes me happy. It is the happiness within my heart.” Elephants will always make me happy, being around friends will always make me happy, having a loving family, and having opportunities in this world that I could only dream of can make me happy, but it is God who brings happiness to my heart. It is God who brings me TRUE happiness. I hope and pray from Bangkok that you can have your elephant moment. I hope that you can find earthly happiness and then have spiritual happiness take over because it is in that moment of change that the true power of God is shown.
Blessings and peace from Bangkok.