Much of what I write about the ten kiddos in my daycare shows their funny, imaginative, creative side. But they occasionally (ok, more than occasionally) show their ornery side as well. (Shocker, I know!)
One day last week I was cleaning up the kitchen from the breakfast hurricane, and my kids were playing fairly well together. I broke up the occasional squabble, but nothing too serious. I was on track to get the dishes done and the children out the door for outside play in record time.
Then I heard a squawk. (Not a chicken squawk, a kid squawk.) I glanced up and scanned the play area.
Nothing amiss. That’s weird.
Back to the dishes. In a couple seconds, another squawk. Another quick scan of the room, but again, nothing amiss that I could see. What’s going on?
This time, I only pretended to go back to the dishes. (The kids probably think I can see them with my back turned, when in actuality, I have developed the skill of looking-like-I’m-doing-something-else-when-I’m-actually-watching-you-like-a-hawk.)
I quickly discovered what the squawking was all about. One of my sweet little girls was offering a toy to another girl, then as soon she reached for it, the first girl snatched it back. (I’ll admit, if someone pretended to hand me a piece of chocolate, then snatched it back, I’d be squawking too!)
Silly kid! one might think. After three times, didn’t she realize that toy wasn’t actually going to be given to her? That it was just an illusion?
But we do the same thing, time after time, with our attempt to gain happiness in this world.
The world offers us happiness in the form of new furniture, a new entertainment system, a new phone, a new car, new clothes.
But the newness wears off, the payments start piling up, and we realize that we aren’t that happy after all.
What about entertainment? Surely that will make us happy.
So we fill our lives to overflowing with sports, movies, music…anything that makes us feel happy in the moment.
And after the excitement wears off, the emptiness creeps in once more.
So we turn to work. Perhaps if we only had a fulfilling job that we truly enjoyed, happiness would be within reach.
But the climb up the corporate ladder proves just as futile in our pursuit of happiness.
In desperation, we turn to relationships. Surely a meaningful relationship will bring true happiness and joy to our hearts.
But of course this attempt fails miserably as well.
Because, the truth?
The truth is this: Nothing, absolutely nothing, the world offers us can bring us true joy.
Psalm 16:11 tells us, “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
The Bible tells us that we were created by God, for God.
We were created to thrive in relationship with Him.
As long as we continue to pursue happiness in anything other than Him, we will be disappointed.
Christian, if you have felt your joy begin to wane, may I suggest you take some time today to consider if you have been chasing the shiny, but unfulfilling, toys of world? May I call to your remembrance that still, small voice that whispers to you even now?
He knocks on the door of your heart, longing that you would open the door and spend precious time with Him.
And to you who have never known a relationship with God, who may not even know what I’m talking about?
I encourage you to seek out a Christian that you know–perhaps a friend, relative, or pastor– and ask them how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus. Though He is the God of the universe, He has been seeking you since the day you were born. And if you can’t find anyone to talk to, send me a private message on my Facebook author page. It would be my privilege to introduce you to Jesus.
Have you ever pursued something you thought would bring you happiness, only to find it left you feeling empty?
Has there ever been a time in your life as a Christian that you drifted away from a close relationship with God?
What steps did you take to return to a vibrant relationship with Him?