A family member of Renee’s (the lovely and talented lady of the farm) brought this video to our attention. It unfolds gracefully with pastoral imagery on a well manicured dorper sheep farm. This video takes place in a lambing pasture as the fencing is very tight and the ewes are “heavy breed” meaning about to deliver lambs very soon. The whole video felt very familiar up till the 4 minute mark when the farmer says something I found profound and worth talking about. He reports that he is often asked if the dogs are happy. The reply is instead of happiness being the goal he observed the dogs caring for something outside themselves gave them purpose and in their purpose they were content. Soak that in for a minute and don’t let it rush by, it took me a while to catch it too.
This is not the first time I have been told not to seek happy as a goal. My disillusionment with happiness is that I never seem to arrive at happy for very long. My life is chocked full of things that bring me joy (which is not the same as happiness) and that real joy only has come from living a life full of purpose and being intentional about living out that purpose. One of my biggest mistakes I have made as a father and husband was to facilitate my children’s and wife’s happiness and not nurture their purpose. What a waste. While reading this you are probably nodding your head thinking of all the sacrifices and hard work you have put in to making others happy, possibly remembering just how fleeting that happiness was. (insert almost every Christmas gift here) Joy only comes from knowing your purpose and those who wish to facilitate joy are experts at helping others to see and unlock their own purpose. Our farm has always been a happy place and we strive all the time to make it a joyous one with intentional living and relationships.