A girl, young in spirit. Her mind so gullible and naive. She dreams of a world full of peace, surrender, smiles, unselfishness; people loving and helping one another.
She sits circled by friends and family. Her hands by her side, knuckles white, eagerly gripping the sides of her chair in anticipation for the once-a-year wish she will soon be granted. Joy fills the room as the off key tune of Happy Birthday is being sung. We all know that moment: As the song winds down, our heart fills with joy as oxygen fills our lungs -puffing our chest out proudly- then release the wish along with largest amount of air and force possible for such a small child. We watch the smoke recede as everyone claps. "What was your wish?" Everyone asks. She knows she's not allowed to tell, for it won't come true.
That little girl is me.
As an adult, I know those birthday wishes turned into prayers and I know that God isn't a genie. He doesn't grant wishes and prayers can't be answered by blowing out a candle. However, I can't help but make that wish each and every year. I know God is listening. I know he knows my heart. He hears my cries, my longing, my desires.
For as long as I can remember. Every. Single. Year. I wished for the same thing. As other kids were wishing for (back in my day) a new bicycle, Dream Date, moonshoes, tamagotchi (totally showing my age here), I was asking for one "simple" thing: happiness. Not for me, but for humanity. I have always dreamed of a world where people were just happy. A world full of peace. I still do this, ever year. My birthday rolls around and you can guarantee as I'm blowing out those candles, I'm wishing for happiness of others. The world is sad. And it absolutely breaks my heart.
You know what else I can guarantee? That people mock and laugh at me for this. How can the world possibly be "fixed?" I cannot tell you the amount of people that laugh at me for thinking it's possible. Still yet, I believe. I believe we can live in a world where people are truly happy, healthy, and loving. Do I think it will happen over night, in my life time, or even in a million years? Who knows. I do know that my God is capable of anything -miracles!
I'm reminded of this because my birthday just so happens to be this weekend. And because I'm here, on this blog, I have the opportunity to not only wish for your happiness, I can help steer you toward your happiness!
Happiness is simple: Love God, Love People.
(Mark 12: 30-31) (John 15: 12-13)
At the same time, it's the most difficult.
By nature, we are selfish human beings. I think maybe that's because without selfishness we wouldn't take care of ourselves- selfishness is needed...to an extent.
"For the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)."
We are called to serve one another. (Mark 9:35) When we set our own selfish needs and desires aside and start fulfilling our neighbors needs and wants, then we will find happiness. Then, we will see Gods grace.
Ways to serve:
1: GIVE YOUR TIME "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in it's various form." ~1 Peter 4: 10
Serving doesn't have to involve blood, sweat, and tears. Start small, start doing what you love. You have a gift, use it! Sing, teach, listen, play.
2: DONATE "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourself that not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." ~ Luke 12: 33 "Give, and it will be give to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ~Luke 6:38
Not only donate the things you no longer want, donate the things you no longer need. To see storage buildings full of things we aren't using, going to waste, unused, while there are so many people in need infuriates me! Let go of the things that collect dust. Someone out there will be so grateful for those things!!
3:GIVE YOUR TIME "For in the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as ransom for many." ~Mark 10:45
Yes, I know I wrote this one twice. It's an important one. I know you are tired, I know you are overworked. I know you are busy. Our duty is to serve one another: make time. I like to think about the amount of time I waste scrolling through social media, it's then I know I am able to make time to help out someone else. Some things I want to make more time for to help serve: Take a friend to lunch, watch someone's child while they run errands or rest, house sit for a friend while they are on vacation, clean/mow a neighbors yard, community service, send random thank you cards... these are all things I put off or convince myself I'm too busy to do. But, if we all work together and start helping one another, we are that much closer to happiness. It's not world domination of peace and happiness, but it's close.
Serving shouldn't be a painful or inconvenient experience. It may take stepping out of your comfort zone to get on that path, but I can guarantee you will find joy and happiness in it. When you see the love you give to other and the love you will receive.... a girl's birthday wish will begin to come true: world-wide happiness.