I picked up USA Today today (that drives the grammar check crazy) and found a story about The Secret. What is The Secret? It is a controversial self-help book and DVD that claims to know the secret to happiness. Author Rhonda Byrne says the secret is the law of attraction. If you think positively you become a magnet that pulls everything you want toward you. Whether you want a new job, a million dollars, or a gorgeous girlfriend. I apparently need to reverse the polarity of my magnet because I tend to only pull dog hairs and dysfunctional people toward me. So I was intrigued. Especially when I discovered that The Secret carries this centuries’ version of the Good Housekeeping Seal…an endorsement from Oprah. Like she needs another million or a new job.
Byrne is an Australian reality-TV producer who discovered “the secret” to obtaining everything you want through studying religious and philosophical texts.
“Everyone has to have their own experience to believe,” says Byrne, 55. “People start with little things like deciding a cup of coffee will come to you or that you’ll see a feather. There’s no difference between attracting a feather and anything else you want. It’s as easy to attract one dollar as it is $10,000.”
Incredibly, as I was writing this post on a flight from Memphis, a cup of coffee came to me. The flight attendant on this American Airlines flight pulled a little cart right up to my seat and asked if I wanted something to drink. Amazing. I have to confess that the exact same thing happened yesterday before I knew about the secret. Perhaps I am just gifted at this.
I decided to skip the whole weird feather thing and go right to bigger things. I am going to think positively that you will click on this link right now and buy 5 copies of my books.
While I was waiting I found some more dog hairs on my pants. Obviously the polarity has not switched. There are, of course, skeptics of The Secret. Professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University calls it “at best, silliness” and “good old-American snake oil salesmanship.” Advocates of The Secret tout the law of attraction for everything from finding good parking spots to curing disease. That is a concern. No one dies from getting a bad parking spot. Not surprisingly, the always bizarre celebrity set has jumped on board the phenomenon.
The whole thing just makes me sad. People are so desperate to find something, anything, to give them hope and a little happiness. Like the old country song, I believe they are lookin’ for love in all the wrong places. So I decided to share my secret with you. I have gleaned this from my study of ancient texts and from personal experience. I cannot promise you good parking spots. I cannot promise you a million dollars. I can’t promise you a gorgeous girlfriend or boyfriend. My blog is not endorsed by Oprah. If you are still interested let me tell you what my secret will give you.
Strength in times of trouble
Power to forgive
My secret is not a law or rule. My secret is actually The Gift. The Gift is grace. The Gift is given by God. Jesus said that He came that you may have life and have it more abundantly. That verse has been so misapplied by those who claim “Beemers and Baubles” as a sign of God’s blessings. That is not what Jesus said in this text. The abundant life is simple. By living a grace filled life I can forgive the hurt and forget the grip of my past. I can live confidently without fear of the future. And I can live content in the moment. That is a prescription for happiness. When I autopsy what makes me unhappy it fits into one or more of those categories. Regrets from the past, fear of the future, or discontent with the present. The Gift can free from you those joy robbers even if you have to go get your own coffee.
That’s my secret. You don’t have to buy my book (but feel free if you want to) to share my secret of The Gift. For further research read the Gospel of John.
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com