The Pursuit of Happiness

19 03 2010

As each of us focuses on making “A String of Pearls” a look at the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) there are 9 pearls that we will focus on cultivating and growing in 2010.  (See our Theme for 2010 tab above for more information on all 9) Here we start our look at Pearl #2 – JOY

This week we start to look at our 2nd pearl which is JOY.  According to the Webster dictionary, JOY is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, a state of happiness.   When I think of all of those descriptions of what joy is, it makes me realize that this is something we all pursue 24/7.  So while we all have various goals or things we are pursuing, we ALL collectively want one thing…TO BE HAPPY!  If you don’t agree, then would you believe me if I said that I can trace this desire to be happy back to the 1700’s.  Hmm, I know you are thinking I am crazy right!!  Well, one of our nations founding documents, the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, states that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   Yes this was written in 1776, and here we are some 234 years later and we are still wanting and talking about the same thing, the pursuit of happiness.

Think about it.  Everyone wants to be happy and while we all may look for it in various ways,  no matter what each of us is doing, we are doing it because ultimately we think it will make us happy.  You take a better job to make more money.  Why?  Because you are pursuing happiness.  You strive for the perfect marriage or relationship   Why? Because you are pursuing happiness.  You buy those bad new shoes because they make you happy and excited even if only for a moment.  Some of us even diet or hit the gym, trying to get that perfect body because ultimately we think this is what will give us joy.  Well I hate to tell ya ladies, it is not these things that bring us joy.  You may be happy when you get them but it is not arriving at these destinations or acquiring things that truly make us happy.  Instead it is all tied into attitude.  Like my Pastor Cecil L. “Chip” Murray used to say, it is your “attitude that depicts your altitude”.  So it is our outlook on life that defines our attitude and our attitude then impacts our overall happiness and satisfaction.  It’s like that saying the old church mothers used to say “this joy that I have, the world did not give it, the world can’t take it away.”  So if the world meaning the things you buy, have or own, or the people that you enter into relationship with etc… are not what makes you happy, when those things don’t work out they also do not take your happiness away.  All of this boils down to living with unspeakable joy.  To live in unspeakable joy is what we want instead of pursuing happiness.  The difference is when you live in this kind of joy it cannot be waved by situation or circumstance. 

So instead of living a life in the pursuit happiness, it is time for us to switch and live with unspeakable joy.  The kind of joy that oozes out through your pores!  To do this we must each find the light that is within, the happy, joy seed God plants in each of us and when we tap into it NOTHING can TAKE IT AWAY from us.  We become masters of or own joy!   Once you find that joy within it automatically turns on the switch and lights up your world. It makes everything feel good, even when you have just gotten bad news, why?  Because you know…

 “All things work together for the good…” Romans 8:28a

So it is learning to see that rainbow beyond the storm.  To see the good in the bad, to believe in what ya can’t see that gives birth to unspeakable joy!!!!  So how do we do that?  How do we live with unspeakable joy? That is what we will explore in the next weeks but for now think about this….  What would it mean to YOU to live with unspeakable joy?

 “There is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, by there is the discovery of joy” – Joyce Grenfell

 “Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.” – Melba Colgrove

 “It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is the happiness of pursuit.” – Denis Waitley

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