If you don’t know it by now, I am passionate about you having a peaceful life. Over the past few weeks, we’ve established the fact that Jesus was relaxed and that consequently, spending time in His presence frees us from a lot of the fear and angst we face in our daily existence. Today, I want to introduce another concept: 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 firmly believe that meaning in life comes before happiness. As much as our American orthodoxy says that we should pursue happiness above all else, a transformed and tranquil existence demands the opposite. In order to experience the abundant life God promises us in His Word, 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 and constantly gain wisdom. 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 demands 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 the contribution you will make to the world than about where your next “fun fix” will come from. 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 be resolved to do whatever it takes to carry out your Heavenly Father’s assignment!