What is the most personally satisfying event that you experienced in the past month?
Was it buying that neat toy you’ve had your eye on for months? Was it making room in your closet for a new wardrobe for the new season? Was it taking a joy ride in your car with the windows down? Or was it a great conversation with a friend or sharing silly laughter with your child? Was it a personal accomplishment, like recognition for your hard work? Was it being able to meet someone else in their need and finding that you were helpful to them?
I hope you don’t think you’re finding happiness in the things you’ve surrounded yourself with. You may have a beautiful home, a nice car, a big TV, but if you have no one to invite over and drive around with, you aren’t rich, not in what really matters.
If you think your material richness brings you all the happiness you need, I wonder why. Why do you strive to surround yourself with stuff? What are you looking for? Status? Security? Even more entertainment? Are you buying things just because you can? Consuming things just because you’re rich? Surrounding yourself with things to keep others away, or to keep them close?
Here’s another question. Who do you surround yourself with? You could look for others with status and security, but I bet you more gravitate towards people who are warm and kind, rich in love and hospitality. Friends who will listen to friends. You can breathe around women who comfortable and settled into themselves. You can joke with men who are relaxed and candid. Guards go down because status doesn’t matter. There is no competition. If we were running a race and you twisted your ankle, I would come help you hobble to the finish line and I know you would for me too.
This relational exchange in life should boost your spirit. If there is something else you value above other humans, something else that you strive for harder, something else that would devastate you if it went away, please don’t ignore or justify it. Reflect.
So think about the most satisfying event you experienced and name why it brought you happiness. The “why”, it matters.