I want that job. I want to live in that house. I want to get married. I want to have kids. I want my kids to go to that school. I want my family to look like that. I want that kind of life.
Ever thought about why we pursue the things we pursue?
Maybe it’s so that we can belong. Well, that’s what everyone at this age does. If I don’t, people will think such and such. I want people to see me as normal and ‘up there’ with the rest of them.
I sincerely hope belonging isn’t your reason. Because it will just lead you to be always chasing to keep up with the trends and whatever’s accepted at the moment, and never truly at rest.
Maybe it’s because of duty. This is what a good child or parent does. I’m must uphold the traditions and values of my family and ancestral roots. This is what any responsible adult or good Christian would do.
Oh, it sounds so noble. But at the end of the day when the doors and closed and the chips are counted, you know deep down inside that it’s nothing more than a hollow façade that never leaves you fully satisfied or fulfilled.
I used to live bound by those reasons. And perhaps to a certain extent I still do. I guess if we’re honest many of us aren’t completely unshackled to either.
When I was in school I never thought much beyond getting good grades. All I looked forward to in my future was a regular life, and hopefully a well-paying job that I didn’t mind doing, and the rest was unknown, up to fate or destiny.
But I would read of people who pursued their dreams, sometimes leaving their careers to do what they liked, or living outside the norm, and I’d think, “Why did they do that? How could they do that? What were they thinking? But, man, I guess they must be happy.”
And if we cut through the layers of our reasons and excuses and go right to the heart of things, that’s what it comes down to: We want to be happy.
Why do we want that job or that house? Because we want the money and the comfort it provides to support the lifestyle we want, so that we can buy the things we want and be happy. At least for a while.
Why do we want to get married and have kids? Because we want someone who we can share our life with, a next generation we can share our stories with and leave a legacy to. We want to be happy – altogether.
Why do we want our kids to eat that kind of food and go to that school? Because we want them to grow to become healthy successful individuals, so that they can be happy. And when we see them happy, we are happy.
Why do we want our family to look like that other family? Because we think that when we get to that ideal it must be happy.
For that matter, why do we get into things that may not be entirely good for us, like gambling, binge-watching dramas, smoking, drugs, pornography and alcohol? We hope to strike it rich so that we can clear our debts and be financially comfortable. We seek temporary pleasures and escapes to numb the pain and dull the stress of life.
We want to be happy. We want our loved ones to be happy.
The world today is constantly trying to persuade us, through advertising and media, that we need more of this or less of that to be happy. We need more of this product or therapy and less of that lifestyle pattern or food, and we’ll be all good and happy. That is, until the next trend or study appears.
But grace cuts right to the heart and says: God wants you happy. You can be happy right now. No purchases, compromises or patches required.
Jesus promises not an average life, but a superbly abundant life (John 10:10). He promises that you will never thirst again. He promises that your heavenly Father knows everything that you need and He will surely provide them for you. He promises joy beyond measure and peace that surpasses understanding.
He promises an everlasting happiness right where you are, right in your situation. From the very moment you allow Him into your life.
He will reveal to you the unique gifts and talents that He has placed in you, and He will cause them to flourish in your life, whether you end up changing careers or not.
He will lead you to make the right choices for yourself and your family, and shelter you when storms come even if you don’t.
He will put His love into you, love that will set right the purposes in your heart and overflow beyond duty. All His purposes are to your benefit. And to His glory. It’s that simple.
And He’s done everything that needs to be done to fulfil all the above promises. All because He loves you. All you need to do is to let Him come in.
Because when you encounter Jesus, you encounter grace.