The Search for Happiness: The Search for Everlasting Joy
Happiness is important to all of us. I imagine we’ll spend a good portion of our lives pursuing what can make us happy. I also know that the vision of happiness varies for each of us. I am living the joy right now of being a new grandfather. It has been wonderful to celebrate the birth of the newest member of our family. Yet we also live in a world that pushes us to purchase our happiness every day. There is the old adage, that money cannot buy happiness, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at the advertising that fills our screens. We often spend a great deal of money trying to find a more meaningful and joyous life.
Fortunately, our faith speaks to finding lasting happiness for us, especially given life’s ups and down. Many biblical characters reflected on finding the help and joy of faith even when life was testing them. In our own search for happiness, we’re invited to find something more durable that transcends our hardships. We want to make sure our own search leads us to God’s path of meaning and joy for our lives. I like how Viktor Frankl, the psychotherapist and Holocaust survivor, talked about our pursuit by saying, “Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the byproduct of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” That is a paradox, to be sure, not inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus. When we give ourselves to something greater, it allows us to focus on something larger than ourselves. We can search for happiness in a way that allows God to work in us and through us. We can search for happiness in a way that allows God to lead us and also allows us to make a more meaningful contribution to God’s world. Sunday we continue our search for happiness as we learn to walk more deliberately with God. Come join us!
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“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”