I am passionate about you having a peaceful life. I’ve said in past sermons that Jesus was relaxed and that spending time in His presence frees us from a lot of the fear and angst we face. Today, I want to introduce another concept to you: that a peaceful life is a meaningful life.
In order to have a relaxed and calm mind, especially in difficult times, we need to devote ourselves to pursuits that are noble, praiseworthy, and that require effort and discipline. I believe that meaning in life comes before happiness. As much as our American orthodoxy says that we should pursue happiness before all else, a transformed and tranquil existence demands the opposite. To experience the abundant life God promises, we must be people who devote our lives to something greater than ourselves. Our goal should not be to work a little so we can enjoy endless leisure, but rather to pursue the call of God. It’s not that Jesus doesn’t want us to be happy, it’s simply that enjoying the good things He provides happens more readily when we are fulfilled and living a life of purpose.
Friend, putting meaning before happiness means that you swim upstream against culture. That said, no matter how much effort it takes, I encourage you to shift your paradigm and wake up each day more concerned about your contribution to the world than your next “fun fix.” Yes, leisure and recreation are good things, but they find their truest benefit when they are born from an existence that diligently pursues greater purpose. Like your friend Jesus, wake up each day focused on your call and resolve to do whatever it takes to carry out your Heavenly Father’s assignment!