It’s A Meaningful Life
This time of year brings me much joy and happiness. There is an amazing beauty in the changing landscape, the weather is getting cooler, and the holidays are just around the corner. But the real reason this time of year brings me joy is because of everything pumpkin. There are pumpkin waffles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pancakes with chocolate chips, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin cereal, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin pop tarts (they’re amazing), pumpkin donuts, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cake. You can go to a store called Trader Joe’s and get a six pack of mini pumpkin pies…they will change your world. And then there is just regular old pumpkin pie. Do you know what is better than pumpkin pie? NOTHING!
Now think about what makes you happy. Who or what brings you joy in your life? We all want to be happy, we all hunger for joy, but it seems to be so elusive in our lives. I wonder if it is because we often search for happiness in material things or our circumstances. These things may provide happiness for awhile, but eventually that happiness will fade away and then we look for the next thing that will bring us joy.
Here’s the thing, if your basic goal in life is for you to be happy, chances are you will never be truly happy. If you honestly want happiness you need to pursue something more important and more significant than a happy life, and that is a meaningful life. So if you want joy, if you want happiness, pursue a meaningful life. One way to do this is to practice acts of kindness.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul refers to himself as a servant (Phil. 1:1). He tells them in their relationships with one another to have the same mindset of Christ Jesus, who took on the nature of servant (Phil. 2:6-7). You see, joy comes not when people do for me what I want, but when I do for them what they need. In other words, when I’m a servant, joy comes. We think we will be happy when we get what we want, but it turns out happiness and meaning turn out to be about what we give. Joy and happiness actually increase when we serve others.
This week, do an act of kindness for somebody. By someone a cup of coffee, run an errand for somebody, help someone with a project, bake something for a neighbor, or visit somebody in a nursing home. Smile at strangers, hold the door open for others and wish them a good day, call a friend, call your mother, do something for your spouse that they have been asking you to do for weeks, give someone a hug. Make your home, your church, your workplace your neighborhood the happiest place on earth by serving others and doing an act of kindness. Let me know what you did this week how you served someone and how that gave you meaning and happiness in your life.