So it’s interesting. In a happenstance sort of a way I’ve been reading these books about happiness. Or thankfulness. Or something akin to your spirit being fuller.
In one take, the beautiful Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, you find beauty and joy and thankfulness is the smallest things. In the light reflecting from the soap suds in your sink. In the small hand clasping yours as you take a walk to bedtime. In the stubbled face you get to kiss at night. Cultivating a spirit of thankfulness focuses you on the blessings not the heartache. Even though there is, of course, heartache that comes.
In another take, a girlfriend recommended The Happiness Project. In a kind of reverse Jen Hatmaker, she sets out to try different things each month that will make her feel happier about her life even though she believes she should “be happy” since she has a job she loves, a great husband, two healthy kids, and a good community. The author experiments with topics like marriage, friends, energy, eternity, attitude and passion. She does everything from the practical (getting more sleep, cleaning out clutter) to the more grandiose (pursue passion and be content).
Even Jen Hatmaker’s “7” which has been totally messing with my life is about finding fullness not in the things and distractions of the day but in a closer relationship with God. The emphasis is for you not to let all this stuff interfere with your faith and turn into empty idols you are chasing after.
Here’s the thing – there is a LOT of stuff out there on happiness. Being happy. Finding fulfillment. Amazon even has a list called “The Best How to Find Happiness Books.” (And it’s a long list.)
Hmmm. Who doesn’t want to be happier? Who doesn’t want to find a way to focus beyond the mundane things that bug and bother you to a more serene and wholesome view of life? Well, I do. And you probably do too.
But I think at the root of these happiness/fulfilment quests, for many, is a search for the “more” that people want in their life. Filling a hole. And I think we all could talk about the “more” that we want – more time, more peace, more happiness, more…… So when Holley Gerth asked the question, what’s the more you want, I love that she already had such wisdom in store in reply. The first chapter of her latest book called You’re Made For a God-Sized Dream talks all about wanting more, or more appropriately, “The More You are Made For.” And she says this:
It’s not about what you do as much as how you do it. It’s about pursuing life with passion and purpose and going with God wherever he leads. It’s about not settling. It’s about tenaciously believing you’re made for more. Not as in “bigger, house, fancier car, more luxurious lifestyle.” No, my friend, I mean “more of Jesus, more of what he’s created you to be, more of what he’s called you to do.” Less of you, actually, and more of all he is and all he has for you – which is beyond what you can even imagine.
So that’s the more I’m after. The answer to more happiness. The answer to more fulfillment. The answer.