We live in a world that is filled with people who’s souls are deprived, depressed, anxious, unsettled, stressed, broken, or maybe just tired. The Declaration of Independence tells us that it is our right to pursue happiness. The word pursue is really the key here.
Benjamin Franklin said that happiness was something we would have to catch for ourselves.
Our culture has become lazy. We want instant gratification. If marriages aren’t working perfectly, are we fighting to make them better, or are we throwing in the towel? If your teenage daughter is trying to walk out the door, are you throwing your hands in the air, or are you chasing after her? If we aren’t happy, are we going on a journey each day God has given us to pursue this joy-filled life, or are we sitting home alone complaining about it?
My relationship with my fiancé, while very blissful, was not always paved on a smooth road. We both had many reasons to walk away in the past…to just give up. We aren’t married. We have no obligation to each other. But we both knew that any relationship would require work. We knew that if we put God at the center, there was a chance that we could create a healthy life together. Even then, we didn’t stop there. Every day we pursue each other…pursue happiness in our relationship.
Most marriages end nowadays because both parties are simply tired of the pursuit. We want a fast food, quick fix, instant gratification. But anything in life, especially happiness, takes work. God wants our lives to be filled with joy.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says:
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”
Life can be difficult and filled with disappointment and hardship. But in the midst of this, God’s gift to us is happiness.
Another word for pursuit is to search or seek. Are we complicating things when we should simply open our eyes?
Look around you. Life is filled with joy. Each day is worth rejoicing. This breath is a gift from God. Sunshine, a hot cup of tea, a family who loves you, a silly dog, a great book, a beautiful view. When I take the time to open my eyes and truly seek what God has created, in my pursuit, I find happiness.
Oscar Wilde says it best:
“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”
No matter how difficult today may be, it will never be as dark as tomorrow is bright. No matter how upsetting yesterday’s circumstances were, they will never be as grim as your tomorrow is hopeful.
We don’t encourage adventure enough these days. Open your eyes. Smell the roses. Explore your life. Look around you. You may not be happy right now…but your life will be satisfying as long as you continue the pursuit.