Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Those are the words of the great Apostle Paul. They speak to my heart’s desire, but they don’t necessarily align with the manner in which my life was lived in 2017. I never really thought that life would be easy when I said to the Heavenly Father. “I give in!” See, I didn’t have the honor of just obeying. I fought God tooth and nail. I fully believe if I had obediently said in 2010, “Yes God, I’ll go. I’ll quit my job and serve you full time.” That my life would have been considerately different. If over the past seven years I hadn’t tried to get to point “B” by side stepping point “A”, I may or may not have been struggling. We’re not guaranteed stress free days even when we’re obedient. But I still think that I’m learning a hard lesson now from not being content with the state I’m in.
So my goal in 2018 is to find my Happy Place.
If you found yours what would it look like? And would it look the same as the one God desires for you?
Good question I thought to myself… would mine?
I think there are three things that will bring me to my Happy Place. The first is…
If happiness becomes a state of mind, not a state of being, then I’ll have arrived at that place. I watched a living example in Minnesota at the home of my hosts for the week, Butch and Pat. They were not wealthy people. They were not people who hadn’t experienced pain. But they were in their happy place as a couple and as individuals because they were living a life obedient to the Lord. If God said speak, they spoke. If God said sing, they sang. And that might be in the middle of the city square. If God said sell your house and move, they did. A week after I was there to visit as a matter of fact, and they believed another home was in the waiting. And it was. They were happy in the state of Minnesota because they were happy in their state of mind.
Another awkward task for me. It means staying on the path that God intended even when it’s hard. Even when there’s no money, seemingly no means for it and the very thing that I feel God called me to do, isn’t happening. So as I searched for my 2018 word, I thought back to my 2017 word of the year. “Pursuit.”
Where had my pursuit taken me? And did I miss my arrival? I’m still pursuing, but I hope this year the pursuit is a little better focused. And consistent: in that I don’t look left and right, only forward to what God’s design is. This past year, every time it would get rough, I would think… this isn’t God’s plan. So I would start applying for jobs and looking for other means and every door slam in my face leaving me more distraught than ever. But through godly people in my life, “I would hear every time, you’re where you belong, you’re making a difference. Stay in this lane.” And often times out of exhaustion, I’d just ride it out and God always provided.
I need to connect every single aspect of my life to the word of God. So my word for 2018 Is “Hope.” I’ll do the art for it later. But for now I’ll just think on this:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven; where of I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church. Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God. – Colossians 1:23-25
I do not profess to have suffered in the manner of Paul. But his words are clear.
Continue, being settled (content)
Not moved away (consistent)
A Minister (connected to both God and people)
What about you? Where is your happy place?