His aim is to find happiness (misspelt ‘happyness’ on the wall outside his son’s day care centre). At the end of the movie his happiness is restored as he gets a job with a stockbroking firm. The closing sequence shows father and son happy again as we read on screen that he subsequently started and then sold his stake in his own firm for a multi-million dollar sum. Apparently, there were no more tears in his story.
We might not experience the same depths of despair that this man did. Yet there will be tears for each of us at various times in our lives – whether it be through financial difficulties, relationship problems, illness or the loss of people we love. Amongst the joy of life there are tears that we don’t want to shed. For most people, the answer to the tears is the pursuit of happiness. If it’s not through money, we look for happiness in relationships, or in possessions, or whatever else helps mask the pain of our tears. However, nothing we try can actually take away the pain that eventually spoils everyone’s enjoyment of this life.
But there is something better than the pursuit of happiness – it’s to know the joy of life that Jesus brings. While believing in Jesus won’t mask the pain of life in this fallen world, it delivers something better. It delivers what our souls are telling us we really want but are looking in the wrong places for.
Jesus brings the joy of knowing a life free from all the tears and pain of life as we know it. And though we won’t fully experience that tear-free life now, we can rest in the deep-seated joy of knowing that tear-free life is what we’re heading for as we persevere in trusting ourselves to Jesus. The pursuit of happiness in anything in this life will ultimately disappoint us. The pursuit of true joy in a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ never will.