The voice is not only familiar, but imposing. It is James Earl Jones.

The trait that garnishes Jones the most attention is the voice of Darth Vader. His deep resonating voice has a sense of command to it.

After finishing one of the Star Wars films in 2014, Jones sat down for an interview. In it, he told of a problem no one would suspect.

Growing up, Jones stuttered. The ridicule shut his mouth out of shame.

A teacher, who was quiet himself, read what Jones wrote. Impressed, he told him, If you like words that much, James, you ought to be able to say them out loud.”

To overcome his stutter, he started reading Shakespeare aloud. Soon, he was performing in front of others. Jones stated, “If I hadn’t been a stutterer, I would never have been an actor.”

But it is a struggle even to this day. “I mangle a word or two every night because the consonants get into a fight with the vowels.”

The interviewer, Jay Wax, pinned the term on his struggle as “the pursuit of happiness.”

But, Jones objected.

By taking one step at a time, I’ve found great treasures. Every step I take … It’s just about being content, that’s all. I don’t know what the pursuit of happiness is. What do you mean the pursuit of happiness? No, contentment. If that doesn’t put a glow on your face, nothing really will.

In a society looking for happiness, we miss the genuine pursuit, the desire to settle life on what matters.

People came to Jesus with faces on which worry had drawn lines. His eyes and words gifted them with compassion. He said, “let God do the worrying. For you, pursue his ways, and you’ll have what you need.”

It’s a difficult message to hear but the right one. When we “seek God and his righteousness,” we get something better than happiness. You gain joy.

And isn’t that what we want?

-Robert G. Taylor-