Over the Christmas holidays I began reading a New York Times bestselling book called “The Happiness Project”. I really enjoyed it because it was … well, happy. It is basically the account of the author, Gretchen Rubin’s, year she devoted to living more happily. Each month she devoted to another element of happiness.
When I got to the chapter in the month of August …. I thought … “Finally”. This chapter was titled “Contemplate the Heavens …. eternity”. I was anxious to read what her thoughts were on this as I had wondered throughout if she had considered the relation between happiness and joy or knew the one who could give true joy. In the chapter, she asked readers of her blog to send in their “spiritual masters” … the ones whose teachings they looked to for wisdom. Names that the readers sent in included: Zen teachers, Charles Darwin, Vincent van Gogh, the Dalai Lama, Ben Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, St. Francis of Assisi and one person sent in “Mother Teresa and Gloria Steinem”.
The one glaring omission I saw was that Jesus was not on the list.
What I am saying is that … The most influential spiritual teacher in the history of mankind did not make the list.
And as much as I loved all the ideas presented in the previous chapters of the book (boost energy, remember love, aim higher, lighten up, be serious about play, make time for friends and buy some happiness) … I just don’t believe a happiness project can be a total success without knowing, loving and serving Jesus.
I began to think about writing my own book. I thought perhaps the title should be “The Joy Journey” … but after a google search I found that is already taken. :) But I want to think about it more. I want to write about it … and most importantly, I want people to know the source of true joy. You’ve heard it before but “Happiness depends on circumstances or happenings. Joy depends on Jesus”. (I once wrote about it here.) Happiness occurs when things are good. Joy flows from our hearts.
This morning, after the kids scrambled back to school, I sat down for my first real quiet time of the year … I came across this verse, Romans 15:13 … . and I knew this was it:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Did you see that?!?! OVERFLOW WITH HOPE. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE that. I’ve decided it’s my 2013 theme. And maybe the beginning of a text for a book.
Hope 2013 finds you overflowing with hope as you are filled with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.
Overflow with hope friends! Overflow with hope.