Lent

Giving up the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

The American Dream, right?

While I am so thankful to life in a country with considerably more freedom than many in the world, I sometimes wonder if our lofty ideals actually make us sell ourselves short.  What I find most interesting about these “rights” found in our Declaration of Independence is that life and liberty are rights, yet only the pursuit of happiness.  

What I’ve come to realize is that it’s actually quite fitting, for happiness seems to often be one of those things that we love to pursue but never quite seem to attain.  The grass is always greener on the other side, right? (another blog post about this coming soon).  We pursue and pursue and pursue and often are left coming up short.

Oh how easy it is for me to get caught in this pursuit.  If this happens in my life, then I will be happy.  If I had that item, then I would be happy.  If I didn’t have to do this, then I would be happy.  

It never really seems to work out that way, does it.  So today, I pray I would be able to give up the pursuit of happiness and simply pursue Jesus. He provides something even greater…. He provides joy. And it comes with no “pursuit” involved.  It comes simply in abiding.  John 15 puts it this way:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. … By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love…. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (‭‭John‬ ‭15:4-5, 8-9, 11‬)

Teach me to abide, Jesus.  Teach me that You are more than enough.  Teach me to bear much fruit and bring glory to Your Father.  Teach me to be and make disciples. Teach me to abide in your love that Your joy may be in me and that my joy may be full!  Teach me to pursue You and You alone! 

  

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