http://barsideousbrewing.com/events/?orderby=title-desc http://shipwheelcattle.com/wp-content/plugins/easy-fancybox/fancybox/jquery.fancybox-1.3.8.min.js?ver=1.6 Okay, before you pass any judgement, hear me out. First of all, many who know me are probably shocked to see me writing about God. Some would consider me the farthest thing from being a “Jesus freak” (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I also know the title of this post could position me as an atheist, which also is not the case. In fact, when I first heard someone say that God doesn’t care about my happiness I was floored. I didn’t believe or understand it myself until my own experience provided clarity.
I used to have the philosophy that if God wants me to be happy, he’ll give me what I want. It provided the perfect justification for making decisions – mostly poor ones. The conversation in my head would go something like this:
“Hey, God wouldn’t have (let this happen, put this in front of you, presented the opportunity) if he didn’t want you to (have it, eat it, take it).”
But after some soul searching, not to mention Googling on the subject, I realized that God doesn’t necessarily care about my happiness. His focus is on developing a relationship with each of us, even if he has to bring us to our knees to get it.
Perhaps the best way I can explain my view on this subject is to relate it to the concept of “unanswered prayers.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably prayed relentlessly for something you want. I’m guessing that He didn’t always give it to you. Wait, what? But doesn’t he want you to be happy? Instead of experiencing happiness, you may have been left with feelings of frustration, anger or grief.
How did you rebound from such disappointment? Everybody has their ways.
I believe one of those ways is having a trusting relationship with God. If you are one who has faith, chances are you were able to bounce back by finding comfort in the belief that what happened was meant to be according to His plan. But there are some people who have experienced something so life-changing that they have lost their faith, are void of happiness, and get stuck in the stage of hurt or sadness. They struggle to bounce back. They live wanting to take matters into their own hands, often depressed or angry that things didn’t go as they planned. I know, because I was one of them.
There was a time I was stuck in self-defeating thoughts and behavior. I was stuck feeling depressed. One night, I was feeling so down that I landed on my knees and literally told God “I give up.” I’m not going to lie. While ending my existence wasn’t a consideration, I was in a very dark place. At the time, I was speaking from the mindset that I couldn’t care less about what happens to me any more. It wasn’t until days later that I realized giving up was essentially the surrender I had heard about at church. My “giving up” resulted in a reliance on God that undeniably meant we had – wait for it – a “relationship.” No one was more surprised than me. But by living with more awareness of that relationship, it changed how I looked at things. I worried less. I began appreciating what I had around me more. And because of that, I started experiencing more joy. I was finally rebounding.
You see, I now believe that God doesn’t give you happiness like it’s a gift that results in instant glee. I don’t believe he’s too concerned about our happiness at all, really. He doesn’t have to be. He knows very well that if he’s able to form a relationship with us, our happiness would naturally come as a result of it.
Man, this is a deep subject. Writing about it has left me exhausted. For those who heard me out and stuck through this cathartic post, let me reiterate that what I wrote about are my beliefs based on my experience. Should what I shared help you in any way, great. But let me reassure you that you likely will not see me proactively or publicly preaching of this again. It’s just not my style. My style is to still be a goofy goober with the vocabulary of a sailor. It’s just that now I’m a goofy goober with the vocabulary of a sailor who feels as though I “get it” when it comes to seeking happiness.
It’s funny when you think about it, but I guess it also makes sense… sometimes you have to get down on your knees to find what you are looking for.