What’s your definition of being happy?

Everyone wants to be happy, but a lot of us don’t know what our definition of happy is, so we settle. Okay relationships, okay jobs, okay health, and o – kay everything. Don’t mess with what is working, even though it could be a whole LOT better.

My definition of being happy is not a textbook, but nothing about me or you is strictly a textbook, and so I suggest that you don’t settle for less. Part of our definition, and I say a collective ‘our’ because most if not all people equate to having ‘stuff’ to being happy. Somehow if by appearances we can show the world what we have and hide what we don’t have then were successful. But what are we really being successful about?

How Much Stuff Do You Have?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine treated me (an early birthday gift) to a show called, The Minimalist. It’s comprised of Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus who both grew up in Dayton, Ohio and who have also been friends since childhood. I won’t go into their stories which you can read on their website, and what led them to live a minimalist lifestyle and their definition of it.

I have one problem with living as a minimalist. It’s living without knowing God. Maybe you know what I am getting to but it’s the whole idea that less is more, but it’s a bonus, and I think it’s easier if you have God as your foundation. You see I know I don’t need all those supposed extras because I know stuff won’t fill me like God can and will. I know not everyone lives this kind of life with God, and maybe they’re great without Him, but could I suggest that it is easier? Before I got to know God better, I would buy tons of stuff that I thought would somehow make me a better person. We’re big on appearances but exteriors do lie

What I am trying to get at, is that most things that we do is to find a purpose, it’s just a fancy way of humans looking for God. We are looking for the truth because well, we were made to want the truth. It’s like looking for those earrings in the couch. You will keep pulling apart the cushion until you find it. Why? You know it’s there. This is where you want to insert value and meaning into what is called your life.

We Are Being Pulled In So Many Ways

We’re told to stock up, to buy in bulk, and were bombarded with sales flyers in between the doors. It’s easy to order online with the promise of free shipping and handling and arriving at our doorstep in two business days. Don’t use cash when you can whip out your credit or debit card.  By doing without, I have learned that stuff is not what I am looking to fill myself with. I think a lot of it has to do with how messed up a world we live in. It’s hard to pass by our faults, our sinful self that lurks in so much of who we are. By living with less we have the opportunity to experience more of His goodness. Somewhere in all the cobwebs, we discover a world that most don’t see or even want to. It is a life that may seem empty to some but is fuller than the kind of life you only think belongs in dreams.

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  1. Actually, I am quite happy with my “stuff.” Of course, for the past decade or so I’ve been living by the words attributed to William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” That allows room for art and sentimental objects as well as a toaster and coffee pot, and it’s an approach that’s served me well.

    Of course, I’m almost completely immune to the merchants and advertisers. I have no idea what’s “in” or what’s “out,” and I’m perfectly happy to stick with the old if it still serves my purposes. There’s a new iPhone? Who cares? I’m still using my Samsung flip phone.

    As for happiness? I wouldn’t have a clue how to define it, and I don’t think I’d really want to try. The one thing I’d say is that it’s only a by-product. People who make being happy their goal, usually aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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