Updated: Sep 30, 2021
I want to be happy forever. I know you want this too. We all deeply long for something. We search for something more. It’s why we have the desires we do right now.
We’re programmed in our DNA to want to feel fulfilled. No matter who you are, how much money you have, or how much you’ve accomplished, we want to experience goodness in this life. This is how God created us.
I never intended to write about God. Or spirituality. Or deep things. I’d probably have more likes and follows if I didn’t. But I can’t help it. After a certain word count, it just pours out of me.
And it’s kind of like that with life. All roads lead back to heaven.
We can go round and round in circles like vultures, trying to find fast fulfillment or a quick fix for feeling sad, mad, or “broken.” We look in the lowest places, because tin sure looks shiny when you’re desperate. And I’m one of the desperate ones.
Shop til you drop?
Scrolling instead of sleeping?
Running from one activity to the next (habit, substance, person), so we don’t ever have to sit in stillness and actually confront our pain?
Asking for a friend.
Whatever it is we’re doing, we need to stop running in circles and surrender.
Give in to the pain we’ve been pushing away.
Give up grasping at smoke we can’t capture.
And give way to allowing ourselves to be happy.
Do we allow ourselves to be happy?
What a weird thing to ask. In fact, I’ve never asked myself that until right now.
Let’s do it together. Say it out loud with me. Ready?
“Do I allow myself to be happy?”
My gut reaction is to throw my fist in the air and yell with my most dramatic stage voice: “Of course I want to be happy! It’s all I ever want! Did you not read the first line of this post!?”
But then my left brain kicks in and starts analyzing (my blog is called #AnnalyzeThis, after all), exploding with questions like:
“Have I prevented myself from happiness?”
“Do I talk myself out of a good thing?”
“Am I my own worst enemy?”
The answer is: sometimes.
You Are always Valuable
More often than I’d like to admit, I give my doubts more power than they deserve. I rationalize downplaying my strengths as being humble. And, worst of all, I let myself lose perspective of who I really am and what really matters at the end of it all.
Josh McDowell and Ben Bennett, authors of #FreetoThrive, remind us how to view ourselves with just the right amount of humility.
“A Healthy self-image is seeing yourself as God sees you - no more and no less.”
Well, how does God see you?
The authors dissect God’s Word and come to the conclusion that every human being is:
For ever and always.
Forever. The concept of “infinity” hurts my head. I visualize a static-y, neon mess going on and on and on… and I don’t like it. But I want it… emotionally speaking. And heaven is the only place I can be perfectly and eternally happy. That’s perfection times infinity squared. I’m bad at mental math, but I know that’s a big deal.
call it quits
Back to our desires.
Even if they aren’t good for us, I think the root of all our desires is good. We look to fill our voids and hope for something more.
In #TheNewTestamentinItsWorld, N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird say:
“It is often pointed out that some of the places most lacking in hope are not the industrial wastelands or the bleak landscapes shorn of beauty, but the places where there is too much money, too much high culture, too much of everything except faith, hope, and love.“
So, this is the only time I am ever going to say this, but…
It’s okay to be a quitter.
That’s right. Call it quits. Go ahead. Stand in full power position in front of your mirror, look yourself square in the eyes, and call yourself a quitter with pride.
In this instance, quitting is the best thing you can do…
Quit seeking approval from others.
Instead, seek how you can better serve and love them. (Galatians 5:13)*
Quit running so far and fast from the problem that you deceive yourself into thinking you’ve actually outrun it.
Try to be still. And give yourself time to rest and process.
Quit setting such high expectations that they make you unhappy.
Rather, ask if you’re confusing them with God’s expectations for you.
Quit finding fulfillment in anything other than God.
He is the answer to every burning question that’s kept you up at night. Every nagging regret that’s stolen any ounce of your joy. Every longing that's weighing heavy in your heart.
I can say this with 100% confidence — albeit sometimes through gritted teeth — but I’ll say it again, because I know it’s true.
All roads lead back to heaven.
This heaven is the true, lasting happiness we're constantly searching for.
Don’t you want to be happy forever? I do.
* “Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.” - Galatians 5:13