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Living With Eyes Wide Open

Most of us aren’t going to be handed happiness on the proverbial silver platter. We have no one waiting with baited breath to chase our fantasies, fulfill emotional cravings and satisfy our whims.

Even those who love us can’t fully give us true peace. We have slivers and bits of joy, but happiness must be sought after. We must deliberately pursue it.

Most who read my blogs know I’m a follower of Christ, and am of the opinion that God is the only hope we have of true and lasting peace, both now and forever.

But saying “God loves me,” listening to a sermon or even reading the Bible isn’t enough for us to discover pure and neverending solitude on this earth.

Does it seem surprising I say that? Well, God has blessed (burdened?) me with the “gift” of brutal honesty, and I have to be real here, friend.

I used to drink the Koolaid and think I was depressed because I wasn’t reading my Bible enough, wasn’t praying enough, wasn’t in church enough. This thinking just led to more despair when I felt I just couldn’t measure up, spiritually speaking.

But, as I’ve suggested in the past, if you do an internet search for “people in the Bible who were depressed,” you might be surprised what you find. Many people struggle with depression, anxiety and self-loathing, both in AND out of the church.

I’d LOVE to tell you going to church and praying cured my emotional issues, but that would be a lie. I still struggle, although one notable exception is that I truly believe, in the deepest recesses of my spirit, everything will eventually be alright. God’s gonna set everything straight, right all wrongs and even the scales of justice…SOMEDAY.

For now, we keep fighting and we never give up.

But, shockingly, that’s not the purpose of this blog. “Never give up” is a theme I weave through nearly everything I write, but what I’ve been thinking about lately is how DELIBERATE I have to be about seeking happiness.

I have to CHOOSE to take my wife to the movies instead of sitting home and going to bed early. I have to MAKE A POINT to find out what time the sun is setting, and then watch the magnanimous display of colors God puts on every night.

Happiness will not come easy for some; we discover it by aggressively rummaging through the muck of each day. Do you think my body, with all its aches and pains, REALLY feels like attending a heavy metal with my son?

No way, man!

But I do it because we both love it.

After a long day at work, the last thing I feel like doing is going outside with my daughter and grandkids. But guess what? It brings me pure, unadulterated JOY, and that’s a beautiful thing.

We must make a conscious decision to do things which make us smile. Chase those activities that bring you happiness.

My Uncle Aaron hadn’t went to the movies in years, so one day my mom and I told him he should go with us. He said “No, it’s too hard with my wheelchair,” but we told him there were handicapped seats and plenty of room for him and his chair. He went, and now is a regular guest at the theater.

A while back my son and I also took him to his first heavy metal concert in many years. I called the venue and made sure there were places for us to sit, and we had a BLAST.

Ya see, I didn’t just show up and hope for the best. I was calculating in my plan to take my Uncle to the concert. In that case, happiness was consciously sought and attained.

I struggle with myself every day to do things I SHOULD instead of what I actually FEEL like doing. It’s tough but I’m slowly getting there.

I would like to encourage you to deliberately seek happiness, because it’s not gonna come looking for you.

Go to the show, take the walk, watch the sunset. Get out of your groove and chase joy, because sometimes it hides itself quite well.

Live with your eyes wide open.

At least that’s my take on it.


This entry was posted in Pain.
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