Leave it to William Butler Yeats to provide one of my all-time favorite quotes, (actually, I had no idea who he was, but I googled and he's shown below). We often hear how joy is not the same as happiness, and it isn't. Joy is not situational, it is deeper. Joy is reserved for our relationships, our monumental experiences, our heart felt contentment of Christ's love for us. Happiness, on the other hand, is often fleeting. It comes and goes. We are hopeful that there is more happiness than say, sadness or indifference, but the trick is to find what exactly makes you happy. Enter Sir Yeats.
Maybe I am speaking only for myself, but I firmly believe that William's words are spot on. True happiness is not found in material things, or from the pleasures of instant gratification. For me, I am most happy when I am learning, improving, developing .... GROWING! The feeling of happiness that comes from personal growth is undeniably satisfying. And best of all, growth comes in every area of our life; spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional.
So, why am I so happy? That's easy; ROCC Small Group and Running! Every single week I find the study and discussion that we have in our small group teaches me something new. I am constantly challenged to dig deeper in scripture and, more importantly, find application to those passages. I grow in fellowship through our small group. Learning to love all and attempting to share life in a way that encourages others, provides for ongoing opportunities to grow. I have yet to leave small group without being happier than when I arrived.
Then there is my passion for running. I have said it over and over, but I am as excited as little Ralphie waiting at the mailbox for the Orphan Annie secret decoder ring, every time my Runner's World magazine arrives. In fact, between RW, Running Times, Marathon & Beyond and the countless number of wonderful blogs and websites devoted to running, I am constantly learning just a little more everyday to improve my performance and enjoyment in the sport.
It was pointed out that in nearly every photo of me crossing the finish line of the marathon, I am smiling. To which someone else said "he smiles at the end, beginning and every mile in between." All I know is that I am learning every step of the way, what works and what doesn't work, what I am capable of that I could not have imagined prior, and just how much more I love being around runners. And that, my cheerful friends, makes me happy.
|W.B.Yeats - Early 20th Century Irish Poet|