By Johan Smith
In the liberal Western world in which we live these days it is predominantly believed that the purpose of life is to pursue happiness. The foregoing takes the form of the pursuit of recognition and fame, material wealth and of course pleasure!
However, it can very quickly hit a trap that has just the opposite outcome. Broken relationships, loneliness, deep unhappiness and depression are therefore rampant like never before and this despite more fame, wealth and pleasure.
We should think twice before taking every opportunity for “happiness” and act wisely instead.
In this regard, however, Afrikaners are not poor and we have a precious treasure of moral and ethical road maps of which many of us are unaware and on which we can and must take stock. It precisely makes us strong in terms of our ability to handle challenges and also to bring about things that indeed make the world a better and happier place.
As Christians, we believe, for example, that God has a calling on our lives. This calling simply involves you taking up your identity in God (the “enemy’s” attack is precisely against your identity) and using your gifts to do what you can do (because of who you are). It is of course a process to find your calling and it can mean different things at different stages of your life; like being a full-time mom. However, when we recognize and fulfill it, life is meaningful and if we do it in obedience, we also let His kingdom come.
For example, we all know very good teachers who make a tremendous impact in the lives of children, and later adults. The foregoing leads to a life of meaning and fulfillment and it is a true source of happiness for the giver and the receiver. In the same way, a farmer, who prepares, plants and cares for his fields in order to finally harvest a harvest, is fulfilling his vocation. When he does the latter with dedication and respectability, he makes an important contribution in many areas and he also allows God’s kingdom to come.
This brings me to the state of affairs in South Africa with all its challenges which are mainly related to the way in which the ANC is mismanaging the country.
It brings all kinds of misery to ordinary citizens and makes people lose hope and wonder if they can be “happy” here. There are those who are in a more vulnerable position and those who are in a better or even influential position. The latter are precisely the people who at this time must fulfill their vocation by fulfilling their positions and exercising their influence because this is a key to a meaningful, rich and happy life.
In this connection, one can consider what Albert Einstein said “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing”.
The above must certainly be true of the evil ANC government which does control the political power and the votes of about 35% of the mostly black inhabitants of South Africa (about 40% of those entitled to vote do not vote). In reality, however, the ANC is a pathetic stuttering and failing government. Can they we really threatened when we stand in faith and in our calling?
The challenge may not be so much the ANC, but our own desires for what Western countries have to offer with their strong economies and negative population growth. The latter is significant in itself, but opportunities can simply look much better than prospects locally. Here, however, one must think carefully and be wise about what really drives or pulls you?
Do you still believe God has a calling for you, even if it is insignificant in the eyes of the world? Will material prosperity or perhaps personal recognition or pleasure really make you happy there far from your people and your country that needs you to fulfill your place(s).
Far from your people who are getting old and need care? Too far and too late to attend a funeral. Far from grandma and grandpa who can lend a hand and exert an influence. Uprooted from your culture in an unbelieving, liberal and leftist, multicultural country? Where Christian beliefs are rejected and people are even persecuted for them?
Where your children will be part of an education system that will actively teach them to reject the Bible and faith and where the spirit of the day will convince you that liberal individualism leads to true happiness. The latter is the ideal of the liberal West. The free-roaming individual who is free of faith, culture and commitments. He looks at life as a race and is always on the lookout for better opportunities for himself (not his children). New Zealand, Canada or Australia?
“The world is my oyster”, I heard a young newly graduated medical student exclaim a while back! Tragically, he is involved in a serious car accident right after that, which turns his plans upside down.
As Jordan Peterson also writes, life is often hard and we make it better by taking responsibility and doing our part. We must therefore be careful not to be deceived even though we are older and have an influential position. And we must listen carefully before we declare that it must be an opportunity that God has sent our way there in Canada.
Isn’t it perhaps our (off) god who is calling us? And will we listen to God?
In closing. South Africa may not currently offer the same opportunities for fame, honor, material wealth and worldly happiness (although it still offers many of those opportunities). But it offers an opportunity to build character, show your strength, make a contribution, make a difference and stand on your faith.
Canada cannot offer that. Or are you chasing the brainchild of happiness?
- Johan Smit is a businessman, farmer, Christian and patriot.