Friday, November 15, 2013

The Joyful Journey

The Joyful Journey 
     Joy in all of it's glory can only be obtained through unselfishness. (Becoming Isaac - by Ben Behunin)
Many of us were raised with the understanding that by working hard and keeping our sights focused on our goals, we would achieve success in this life.  While this statement can be true, I believe that too many have adopted the worlds definition of success.  In today's world, success means money or financial prosperity and the things it can buy.  This same worldly definition of success and money, implies this is what brings happiness.  Boy, that would be nice if it were that easy.  However, often we find the opposite to be true.  Work hard, stay focused on building a life of financial success and comforts and more often you reap frustration, regrets and unhappiness. 

The human being who only lives for himself finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes.  Unselfishness ennobles and satisfies. Don't put off the joy derived from doing helpful, kindly things for others. (BC Forbes)

The true key to happiness is found through blessing the lives of others.  This is best done on a small scale - through our lives touching those we interact with face to face. Of course, donating to large organizations and supporting worthy causes should continue (and probably increase), but each of us needs to roll up our sleeves and mingle our lives with those in our circle of influence.  Including those who may connect with us briefly, never to be encountered again.

Many have taken these concepts and allowed them to sink deep into our souls.  Sometimes this is called Consecration. Consecration has been described as a solemn dedication to a special purpose or service. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred".
It is almost like we have accepted a divine invitation striving to become an instrument in Gods hands.  We acknowledge that gifts, talents and resources are best magnified to bless the lives of others. This is not to say, we are any better than anyone else.  Truly, when you enter on this path, you come to realize, we are all in this together.  No one of us is any better than the other.  And herein lies the magic.  You and me and the guy down the street all hold divinity within our souls.  (Of course, I realize that many souls are lost and have descended below the gentle whisperings of inspired promptings.) Mother Teresa describes that each of us can be compared to Christ in one of his many distressing disguises.
I challenge each of us to engage in unselfish acts of service.  Simple, daily acts of service may not seem like much in and of themselves, but collectively they can bless and transform your life and that of the one blessed by you.  So how can you make the change to become someone who is more joyful, happy and selfless? The practice is simple: In your morning prayer or meditation each day, ask God to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of your fellow men.  Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help.  Stay focused. If you do this, your subtle spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible. 

It is usually through another person that God meets our needs.  There is power in asking to be used as a tool in Gods hands.  Sometimes smiling and saying hello is all it takes when you see someone in the grocery store.  An acquaintance can become a friend. When was the last time you invited someone over for dinner? Can you find an excuse to send a thank you note or text? I promise you, it is the culmination of little things that builds a happy life.  Joy is found in the journey, NOT at the end of the road.

Give it a try. Step out of your comfort zone and discover a more joyful Journey.


Dr. Kyle Christensen
February 25, 2013

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