I believe the things we think will get in the way of our happiness are often the things that truly bring it.
I’ll tell you the best single thing I did all summer. I met a homeless man named Paul on Main Street in downtown Greenville, SC. I stepped outside of what was comfortable for me and took him out to eat. I bought his meal and got to know some about his life. We also got to talking about faith, and he said that by meeting me, a Christian brother, it encouraged him not to go out and drink that night (and waste precious money belonging to either himself or another man in dire straights). I also took him to the hospital to see about his hurt leg and gave him some ramen noodles that were in my car. I genuinely felt that I helped out a fellow man that night.
Me too, it turns out. Other times in the same downtown I had walked past guys asking for money, and I basically told them, “Sorry”. That was comfortable for me and it didn’t disrupt my agenda. But with Paul, after I took that “inconvenience,” I sensed happiness and fulfillment like I’ve rarely ever felt.
I believe the things we think will get in the way of our happiness (like Paul) are often the things that truly bring it. I believe Jesus is like that, and I believe the encounter with Paul are steps that Jesus wants me to take in life.
I believe a relationship with Jesus Christ is the best source of fulfillment. I don’t think he’s boring (although I think I used to), or that the rules that the ideals or rules he promotes are to take our fun away. I’m talking about a relationship with Christ, not merely going to church or being good. He gives the promise of eternal salvation and paradise, and I believe I can fall on him for help anytime, any day.
So again, the things we think will get in the way of our selfish happiness are often the things that let us step outside of ourselves and realize happiness in them.
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