My husband proposed to me last year on Valentine’s Day. We wanted to enjoy at least a few days of engagement bliss, so we determined to meet one week later to discuss our wedding budget. After combining our funds and our parents contributions (thank God for our parents or we would’ve had a backyard wedding) we accumulated what I considered (and still consider) a substantial amount of money. Certainly with this amount of money at my disposal all of my wedding dreams would come true!
Flowers Cost Whaaaaaaat!
I never knew the actual cost of a wedding and soon found I would have to make some very critical decisions. Was my priority the guest list or the flowers? Was it more important to buy my dream dress or provide delicious food at the wedding rehearsal? Tradeoffs were being thrown at me left and right until one day it hit me! No matter the amount of money I had, I would never truly have enough. There was always one more person I could invite and one more appetizer I could add. I clumsily realized the success of one of the biggest days of my life had nothing to do with money and everything to do with me.
Almost 1 Year Later
I find myself having this same internal conversation, except this time it’s not a wedding I’m planning; it’s my life. I remind myself, more than I’d like to admit, of the great adage; ‘more money more problems.’ Money doesn’t buy happiness. Money buys choices, which buys comfort, not happiness. I remind myself public approval does not buy happiness. Approval buys popularity, which buys company, not happiness. I remind myself love doesn’t even buy happiness. (Insert Tina raspingly singing “What’s love Got to do with it, go to do with it” accompanied by rhythmic shoulder shrugs.) Love buys commitment, which buys loyalty, not happiness.
Happiness Is Purchased With Choice
A choice only you can make. A choice to be content with your lot. There will always be one more pair of shoes you want; always another promotion to be achieved. We are wired to want and then wired to become dissatisfied, because people, positions, and possessions were never meant to fill internal voids. We are instead designed to seek the immeasurable and become filled with it’s wonder. The helping hand I extend to my neighbor or to a friend. The love of Christ I share with those who are unaware. Community and personal betterment. The mysteries of God that are revealed by the Spirit. These are the things that bring true happiness. It’s a challenge that’s much easier said than done, but once it’s tapped into, life becomes glorious.
What immeasurable factors fuel your happiness?