It is easy to get up out of my warm comfy bed and still complain that I didn’t get enough sleep, get ready to go to my good job and gripe about wishing I could retire, get in my big, rumbling diesel truck and think about that little dent and how bad I want it fixed or sit down to a nice, nutritious dinner and wish I was eating a steak instead.
No matter what, I can always want more, better or just plain different.
Sometimes what I want gets in a competition with what others want. They want McDonald’s and I want Burger King, we get McDonald’s and I feel slighted. Well, that may be a bad example because when I go to McDonald’s I always feel slighted.
Whatever it is, I seem to want to get my way. I tend to judge happiness in my life by how much I get my way.
That’s a bad plan because I just don’t get my way all that much. The only way I can pursue that kind of happiness is to cause others to not get their way in order to get my way more often. I’ve tried that before and I hurt a lot of others and myself in order to find happiness and ended up not happy at all.
I’ve only really found happiness in those moments that I let go of my way and gave God’s way a shot. God hasn’t really just called me to go his way on a trial basis but I’ve never been able to just flip a switch to go from my way to God’s way. I’ve only been able to do it one decision at a time.
There is a real freedom in letting what I want go and centering my life around God in such a way that it includes the wants and desires and needs of others. Giving joy away is much simpler than striving to get it.
Philippians 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
If I stretch what I want in life to include as many as possible, I can see happiness when it falls into the lives of those around me and share in that. Their happiness becomes mine.
Just as the hate and cruel words can sweep across Facebook like an out of control virus infecting everyone that reads them, happiness and kindness can sweep over a group of people held together by the love of God like a breath of fresh air. My selfish quest for satisfaction can’t do that.
I need to face the day with humility. I need to be satisfied with the great things in my life and not expect more when more really isn’t necessary at all. I need to look around for someone that really really needs more and find a way to help them find it. That’s the “more” in my life I really need.