No one awakens in the morning and intentionally thinks, “Now, what can I do today to mess up my life?” Again, no one awakens with the intentional thought, “I want to see just how miserable I can make my life today.” While I believe no one intentionally has these thoughts, many people go about day by day fulfilling the requirements of these statements/questions.
I pray you are not one of them, but you do see them every day. You pass by them, or they pass by you on your morning commute. You pull up beside them at every traffic light. You meet them at the coffee shop, doctor’s office, the gas pump and even near your work station.
Many of these people have spent their entire working life reaching for what they want, only to find it is not enough. Many display the outward appearance of success, yet inside feel like a failure. No amount of success is ever enough to bring lasting satisfaction.
The bottom line is when we chase after earthly things, success, titles, position, money, even leisure, we can never attain enough. None of these earthly treasures will bring the peace and joy our hearts desire. They cannot. Reaching for these longing to find peace, satisfaction, and happiness, only lead to sorrow, misery and messed up lives. No matter how many highs and triumphs we attain, any satisfaction and pleasure is short lived.
Happiness comes from external circumstances. Happiness is always fleeting. Happiness can be wiped out in a matter of seconds. Joy on the other hand comes from inside, not from external instances. True joy comes from God above. Only God can give a person Joy because God is the creator and possessor of Joy. True joy can only belong to one who sets aside all earthly desires for self and follows after the desires of the God of the universe.
It is only when we lay aside our chasing after what we think will bring success and happiness, that we can find joy, peace, and a greater success than this earth can give. Once you have experienced this joy, peace and fruitfulness that comes from God above, you want more. I have said that I am a “God experience junkie”. I am addicted. I want more. Once you experience this joy, you never want to go back to fleeting happiness.
Things to consider:
1) Am I chasing after my dreams or what God created me to be?
2) Am I living for one of those fleeting moments of happiness or for those awe-inspiring God moments?
3) How many of the items on my calendar this week are to help someone else rise above their apparent circumstances and not about me and my personal life?
4) Is accomplishing my goals as pleasing to God as they are to me?
Answering these four questions can lead you toward a peace that passes all understanding, a satisfaction greater than winning a national championship, and experiencing a Joy that is from out of this world.