Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happiness is...

Too often we spend time chasing happiness in our lives when all we have to do is simply be still and open our eyes.  True happiness lies within us.  It cannot be provided by someone else - especially by our mate.  I spend a lot of time telling young girls to find their happiness in who they are and to quit looking for a boy to bring it to them.

A the close of our last MidWinter last weekend, one young girl came to me for prayer.  Specificially, she wanted me to pray that she would be able to quit comparing herself to those around her and for her to find true happiness.  Keep in mind, this is someone who has not met me before this camp and so she doesn't know my past 4 years of self-discovery.  Funny, how God brings people into your lives because He needs you to share important messages with them.

I wonder how many other young women struggle with these same issues.  Often looking for their inner happiness and mistaking that it will be brought to them by friends, boyfriends, material goods.  Over looking the fact that if they just turn inward and upward that happiness is already theirs.  I think the reason why so many of us struggle with happiness is because society has spent so much time teaching us (training us in fact) that happiness is achieved when we obtain things (and people).

It is this teaching that has in turn made our spouses disposable, that has enabled adults to make self-serving decisions that negatively impact their children and in turn, teach their children that happiness is something that can only be obtained by "obtaining" others.  If we look at third world countries, or even in our own country, we can see true happiness all around us.  It just requires us to be still and open our eyes. We see happiness in the children of Africa who are content to play with a ball that is made of tape, who are able to appreciate the one meal of rice that they will receive that day.  We are able to see true happiness when they are able to obtain education.  In the United States, if we look to our 'less affluent" sections of society, we are able to see the most happiness in those that live a more "simple" life.

We have a friend who has not had a TV in over 4 years in his house.  And he has small children.  There is no TV to babysit them, no tv to bring them the ideas of our immoral society and materialistic offerings.  He is perfectly happy knowing that he is able to teach them about God and what God says happiness, desire and love are - not what MTV and Housewives declare it should be.  In deed, most people who have less, have more happiness then those that have more.  I say this only because most people I know who have everything they've ever desired, are still seeking more.  They still feel they have yet to achieve what they were looking for.  That no matter how big their house is, what kind of cars they drive, what boat they own, that no matter what latest greatest gadget they have, they are still seeking the next best thing out there - all in an attempt to find happiness.  What they have found is debt and stress, anxiety and often depression.

I was recently asked what brought me happiness.  I used to think it would be a new car.  Or new shoes.  But what brings me true, to the very inner being of my soul, happiness is....seeing my spouse satisfied with his life.  Seeing my children being joyful by giving to others, by watching campers connect with their Creator on a deeper level then ever before.  What gives me bone chilling, wanna dance in the Starbucks happiness, is knowing that I have fulfilled God's desire for my life.  My life may not be fancy - I drive an older car, I think about budget before making purchases - but I can lay my head down on my pillow at the end of the night and know that I have true happiness and that God is pleased with my quest to bring Him honor and glory through the day.

So how does this all come back to running?  To the girl comparing herself to others?  Because for me, this great realization finally come to fruition when I discovered that through running, I could hear His voice loudly.  That I could quit comparing myself to others.  It was through the running and hearing His voice daily that I was able to find that deep gut fulfilling happiness and realizing that it was not "what" I was chasing that would bring me happiness but instead being pleased with myself and relying on Him that would fill the happiness meter in my life.

And true, little things bring me happiness throughout my days - such as these surprise shoes I got in the mail from dear friends ....


but my happiness doesn't rely on them. 

Also, dear friends fuel my happiness meter...



And even date night - which gives me great happiness always...


But I also find happiness here...


and here...


Question is...Where do you find your happiness?  Your true, bone chilling, gut filling, soul felt, happiness? 


Post a Comment