I am often guilty of having great dreams of doing new and different things. On my current list of must do items is: restoring and rebuilding a classical vehicle, build a kit car from scratch, acquire a new wood turning lathe, find a weaving loom, buy a hobby farm and become a primary producer… Yet after I wax lyrical about these projects I have to admit that I don’t have the time or the money and then I feel depressed!
Human nature continually suggests the simplistic belief that MORE is always better, and if I had all those needs (or more correctly those wants) fulfilled all my problems would be solved and I’d be happy and content. Yet the reality of my experience is that the quest for more never ends, all those things that we get and those projects we embark on don’t give the anticipated happiness, in fact they only create a new set of problems and frustrations. I then convince myself that to solve those problems I just need to change direction and find another new exciting project or toy and the cycle continues.
Have you been there? How do we break out of that downward spiral of discontent and depression and unhappiness? I haven’t got all the answers, and this might seem simplistic but I challenge you to start with the following:
1. Reject the lie that says happiness depends on getting things, and learn to give things to others, and share the happiness that results.
2. Recognise that relationships are more important than just doing things, so invest your time in those close to you, and reap the benefits of an enriched life.
3. Reconsider where God fits into your life, for only He can give you the perspective to see where you have got off track and the power to get things back in balance.
Life will continue to have ups and downs, we need hopes and dreams, and we all want to be happy, but relentlessly pursuing happiness does not work, it is rather a natural by-product of a balanced life, with body, mind and spirit in tune.
Chaplain Ian Whitley