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The Pursuit of Happiness
by Greg Baker
3/30/2010 / Christian Living
If someone were to ask me what I thought the single most important factor was to gain happiness, I would have to say that it was purpose or vision.
Proverbs 29:18 - Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
You can have a lot of money, be popular, have decent relationships, possess power, have friends, even have a walk with God and find yourself unhappy. The reason for that, is that none of these things have full value until you have purpose behind them.
Having a spiritual walk with God brings protection and peace, but without reason or purpose it'll grow old and stagnate. You could marry the kindest, gentlest man in the whole world, but if your marriage has no purpose and reason, then it will grow old, and you may find yourself thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the hill.
Where there is no vision, there is no reason. Rich people who accumulate money for no other reason than to have it, lose purpose and will find that the money cannot make them happy. There is nothing wrong with money, but money without purpose is vain. What good does it do? We've all heard that you can't buy happiness.
More than that. People whose sole purpose in life is self-gratification learn, eventually, that that isn't really a purpose at all. Self-gratification is a black hole that makes no progress, nor does it satisfy. It provides a temporary high that often lets you down further than you came up. Therefore, self-gratification can't be a purpose.
You will find greater happiness in your marriage when you find purpose for it. The bed is a type of self-gratification, and therefore can't be a true purpose. Nothing wrong with it, but if you married just to frolic in the bedroom, you'll find your relationship rather shallow. Your marriage needs to be filled with vision and purpose, and if you both share it, you'll be able to solve your marital problems, and achieve the happiness you were hoping for on your wedding day.
For most people, survival is their only purpose in life. I don't mean to infer that their life is necessarily in danger, but rather that they go through the day with a single goal...to get it over with. They live for that single moment or two of self-gratification at the end of the day, and then dread the morning and the return to the daily grind. No purpose. No vision. No happiness.
Get a purpose in life. Find a vision that literally yanks you out of bed in the morning, anxious to get started. Your vision and purpose must reach outside of your self. If you are the focus of it, as I said, you can't find fulfillment there. That type of purpose is a betrayal of the important things in life-just ask Benedict Arnold or Judas Iscariot.
If you really think about it, it is not the achieving that brings the most happiness in your life. It is the pursuit itself. If the ultimate happiness is in actually winning a ball game, then why play another? Because it wasn't winning that really brought you happiness, it was the pursuit of the win. This implies purpose to your life. Something to continually strive for.
Mankind wasn't made to retire. Without a goal or purpose we don't have happiness.
Most of the world is a cesspool of self-focus. We don't really live, we just exist. You see, it is the pursuit of happiness that brings the greatest amount of happiness in life. A purpose provides the pursuit. The pursuit brings happiness because we strive for something greater than ourselves.
Find purpose to your life, and you'll find happiness.
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