Have you ever wondered what things would bring joy to your life? Or are you just like me who used to chase it like how the cat chased its tail? Yes, I was once who searched all over for things that will bring joy to my life, but I came back a failure. Wondering “Why is that so?”
I searched not in the wrong places but with the wrong intentions. I bought things, I traveled, I went out with friends, I went to church, I tried every single thing, but I was not able to find it. But I did not stop. I meditate, asked myself what was wrong, I asked God, and not long ago, God answered me. Not actually answered, God, asked me what my priority is.
Happiness is in every single thing I searched. I could have found it in my stuff, in my travels, in my friends, if only I have known what my priority is and what my intentions are.
God is telling me that changing my outlook on life by knowing what my priority is, is the key to the happiness I have been looking for because it will nourish my inner wellbeing and will allow me to live my life and live my dream.
What Should Be My Priority?
In everything I do, I must put God first, and He will direct my path and will crown all my efforts with success, that is according to Proverbs 3:6. So it clearly says that God should be my priority, in every decision that I will make, in every travel that I do, in dealing with my friends, even in going to church. All the things that I do must be to glorify and honor Him.
In Material Things
I have learned to ask God first before I purchase some things. Is it something that I need or something I will just add to the stuff in my closet? Every single centavo I spend comes from God, and I should be a good administrator of such a blessing.
The more things we have in our home, the more uncomfortable we get because our room becomes too crowded with stuff we do not need, and so it is no longer a rest-friendly bedroom. Proper sleep and rest are essential to happiness. Our whole house, especially our room, should be our sanctuary, not a stockroom for things we hoard. “Sleep can restore your mind and body. The immune system repairs itself and the brain rests and recharges while you sleep. Without enough sleep, you can’t function at your best.” Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist said.
I gathered up things I do not need and donated them. I felt happier and better knowing that this stuff that just sits in my room for years will be used by people who need them most.
Having Good Times With Friends
Surrounding yourself with friends that have a positive effect on you is essential for your growth, but it is not always you who must benefit from your friends. Make sure that your friends gain from you, too, by becoming a good influence on them. A God-loving friend is someone who gives good advice, does not gossip, faithful, sincere, and loyal especially during difficult times. Jennifer L. Taitz, PsyD once said, “I’m pretty blown away by the idea of Loving-Kindness Meditation. Meaning, instead of drowning in sadness, purposefully spending a few minutes wishing people well (from you to a mentor to a stranger to a person you know struggling) can actually lead to productive actions and increase your joy.”
It is when you start talking about what you believe in will you know who your friends really are. They will not judge you for standing up on your faith but instead will respect you.
Support And Be One With The Church
The church I am referring to is not just the building where we worship, but we as a group of believers and worshipers. The church will not stand and will not survive if we will not support each other if we are not one in spirit and in our thoughts and actions. We, as individuals, have our own roles to play in our faith and together we will be stronger. If we do our part, we walk our talk, we become a pleasant example to our neighbors. There is an advantage to that. Ben Martin, Psy.D says, “Strong spiritual faith is associated with a reduced risk of depression. Spiritual faith can be found in the context of organized religion, or in something less structured, such as meditation.”
The moment I made God my priority, my life became uncomplicated, with fewer worries not entirely worry-free, fewer fears but not entirely fearless.
God is inviting you. He is not expecting that you will be able to sustain living this kind of life perfectly. You may at a point wander far from this kind of life, but He is always willing to welcome you back anytime, just like the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). Because once you have a taste of how joyful it is to live a life under God’s protection, it is something that you will keep looking for and will keep coming back to no matter how many times you go astray.
I know it for I have been a wanderer who had decided to go back to my Father’s warm embrace, and only under His protection did I experience joy and peace with the intention of doing things according to His will.