What brings you happiness? We all have a wish list. How often have we said to ourselves, “If only I had more… then I would be happy.” You can fill in the blank for what you desire: more money, love, friendship, meaningful work, a stronger faith. It turns out that a great deal of research has been done on this subject and what brings us true happiness and fulfillment in life. For years, philosophers and religious leaders have pondered and debated the sources of happiness for us.
I want to focus on this subject the next few weeks in our worship because it hits on core issues in our lives and our faith. What do we want most out of life and how will we achieve this ourselves? What builds a meaningful life at the deepest level of knowing ourselves and God? We want to be sure we are pursuing what truly matters, something that builds lasting joy and contentment, not fleeting pleasure.
It turns out that a good portion of our happiness is genetically defined and another portion is circumstantial, just what life brings to us at the moment. Yet we do have control over a higher percentage of our joy and fulfillment in life than many of us might think. We’ll talk first about the relationship of happiness and money. Our culture tells us to believe that more is always better, but of course, that is not realistic. It’s also not true.
I firmly believe God wants us to find our happiness in life, to know the joy of being fully alive. What we seek and how we go after it makes a huge difference, though. Worship with us Sunday as we take steps to move on this pathway of finding our happiness.
Dave Summers, PhD
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church