Several years ago my mother gave me a devotional entitled Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace In His Presence. It had sat in a bedside table for quite some time. Not that I wasn’t interested – I just had a devotional that I liked. Then I determined that it may be time to change it up, go for a different brand of simple thoughts. I put the devotional in my work bag and brought it out to my job. It sits on my desk and I take 5 minutes, at no structured point in time, every day to read through it and reflect on the wisdom it espouses. Today’s was directly in line with the Me.Now.Movement I am involved in, and provides me both peaceful thoughts to implement throughout my day, and reminds me of the importance of living in the present. Particularly, this passage jumped out at me, “Taste and See That I Am Good. This command contains an invitation to experience My Living Presence. It also contains a promise. The more you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness. When adversities strike, the human instinct is to doubt My goodness. Do not try to fathom My ways. Instead, spend time enjoying Me and experiencing My goodness.”
I battle with the struggle of perseverance through my own effort while at the same time maintaining my faith that God has a plan for me. It is difficult to properly balance the two competing thoughts, and is taxing on my happiness. What does God require of us, in order for us to fulfill His plan for us? That’s a question that keeps me up at night more than any other. What helps me to sleep, is that at some point I understand, and its only ever momentarily, that my persistence in holding up my end of the bargain puts me on the path to meeting His plan for me. That provides me with great happiness and sustenance. It is only when I encounter my next hurdle where I seem to lose that synergy with God. And then I am reminded again of it. In truth, sometimes it takes days, weeks, months – its even taken years, at times, for me to understand that my persistence is the key ingredient to finding my way to His path. Every day I divert from His plan. Sometimes it is only momentary. At other times it is severe. I don’t post about my devotional to claim my moral and spiritual superiority to others. Far from it. I actually believe that my human nature requires my daily devotion to God. Reading a small passage is but a single step along that line of requirement. It frames my day for me and instill within me positive thought and a manner by which I can attain happiness. For as much as we might like to think we can govern our happiness, our true grace and salvation, and therefore our happiness, can come only from God.
Faith has been at times an active, and at others a latent pursuit. It has always been a medium through which I moved, but was not always something met with my open heart. There are days it still is not. Those are the days I need faith, and devotion, all the more. Those are the days I need my wife and my children to be witnesses of God’s love for me, so that the love I feel in their presence reminds me of something greater. That is the true gift of God’s love; it can inspire us to remember Him when we are least thinking of Him.
Today I am thankful for the foundation in faith that my family and friends helped to instill within me. I am grateful for the walk I am taking through life and through God with my wife. I am hopeful that I am doing, and will continue to do, the same for my children. I am happy that Jesus Christ, the Bible and little devotionals like this one came for me, and are provided to me, on a daily basis. I pray that God’s plan for me has been instilled within me on some level; that the goals and visions I have for myself and my family will be part of God’s plan for me. These thoughts, and the actions they inspire help me to be reminded of all that I have; through which I can pursue and achieve happiness.
Yours in the Pursuit of Happiness,