Comfortable or Happy?


Hello Again Friends!

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged two days in a row, but then again it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten up at 3:45am, yanked my boys out of bed, left the house at 4:30 with it in order enough to be “shown,” if necessary, only to arrive at the airport for our 6am flight to find out it is now scheduled for 10:30am. “Crew rest” they say.

But I do believe things happen for a reason, as terribly inconvenient as this feels, as dog tired as I am for such an unnecessary cause.   I’m pretty sure in this case it was because we were supposed to meet Amun, our taxi driver.

Amun arrived quite early which always makes me a nervous wreck, because the boys call out, “Mom! The cab is here!” And with fifteen minutes to go I have approximately 3,000 little things left to do. Of course I’d be a nervous wreck if they weren’t right on time too, so it’s kind of a no win. Ideally drivers would locate the address and then drive around the block and park, zooming up only at the precise time they were requested.

But I think I did almost everything I intended to do and we climbed in the cab with a sigh of relief.

Amun was a young man from Cameroon, speaking almost perfect English even though he’d only been in the U.S. three years. He told us that they start to learn their second language in primary school (age 3). He said 80% choose French as their second language and 20% English.

In chatting with him, it was clear that he wasn’t 100% sure that living in the U.S. lived up to its hype. He was a little reserved at first, probably not wanting to offend us, but then he explained: “This is the thing,” he said. “If you want to be comfortable, you live in the U.S. But if you want to be happy, you live in Cameroon.”

He told us now he feels like it’s a hard thing to sacrifice the comfortable life he lives in the U.S. to go back to Cameroon, but feels like by staying here he is sacrificing happiness. What a choice, huh?

But assuming Amun is right, why would people be happier in Cameroon? Is it because they have less stuff? Is it because people aren’t obsessed with working and acquiring? Is it because people are more relationally oriented? Probably all of those things to one degree or another.

Sitting here in the airport I’ve been looking at Bible verses with the word happy. The Phillips translation of the Bible uses the word happy more than any of my go-to versions. Here is a sampling:

Luke 6:20 says, “Then Jesus looked steadily at his disciples and said, ‘How happy are you who own nothing, for the kingdom of God is yours!’”

John 20:29 says “’Is it because you have seen me that you believe?’ Jesus said to him. ‘Happy are those who have never seen me and yet have believed!’”

In Matthew 11:6 Jesus says, “happy is the man who never loses faith in me.”

Romans 5:1-2 Paul writes: “Since then it is by faith that we are justified, let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.”

I am praying this morning that as I meet up with my husband later today and we look for a new home, that we can prove Amun wrong – that we can lead comfortable and happy lives here in the U.S. I think we can if we make our lives not about comfort, not about things, but about loving each other and seeking first His Kingdom. And even if things go sour somehow, we can “stand in the happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.”


Only 90 minutes from boarding now!



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