I Don't Want to Be Happy
By Amy Armstrong
It may seem a bit extreme to some, but we have a breakfast schedule in our house. Monday is oatmeal, Tuesday eggs, Wednesday waffles, Thursday cereal, and Friday is free choice.
I’m really not a Type-A person. I've just found that my children can be somewhat indecisive in the morning and one less choice makes a smoother process of getting ready for school. Also, they can’t always be relied upon to make wise food choices.
On a recent Friday, my youngest was looking at her options in order to make her free choice. “Mom, can I have this and one other thing?” I looked over to see her holding a box of Girl Scout cookies, evidence that she is my DNA in her belief that there is no wrong time of day for cookies. I had to be the parent and tell her, “We don’t eat cookies for breakfast, Sweetie. You can have yogurt or cereal.” She submitted, and I promised her she could have the cookies for dessert after dinner.
Cookies make my daughter happy. Cookies or any combination of chocolate and peanut butter make me happy. At least for a little while. The problem comes an hour later when I realize that my stomach still feels empty. My hunger wasn't really satisfied.
Satisfied. What is it that makes me feel satisfied? The world will tell me a variety of rich foods, new clothes, a full Pinterest board and a house to match. And sometimes I chase after those things. But I've realized that those things only make me happy for a little while. To be satisfied, I must be filled by my Creator. He has created a hole in me that only He can fill. God’s desire for us is to be holy, set apart for Him. This is something that occurs through regular devotion to Him and sacrifice of our own desires.
In 1 Peter 2:9 we are reminded, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
God calls us to something different than the world. He calls us to be more like Him; patient, truth-filled, and unconditionally loving. When I chase after God instead of the things of this world, I experience struggle. But through that struggle I experience a deeper reliance on the One who has a greater knowledge of myself than I do. If God were to give me everything that makes me happy, I’d live in a mansion on a beach with a personal masseuse, housekeeper, and baker. But then I wouldn't have to rely on God very much, would I?
So as I’m dealing with broken relationships that don’t make me feel happy, I can choose to rest in God’s holiness and let him restore those relationships in His time and His ways. As I experience waiting more years than expected during an adoption process, I can choose to be made holy and experience the time and message God has for me during those years. Letting God choose is the best choice. So I give up trying to be happy. I want to be holy. I want to be satisfied in Christ. I want more of what Christ has to offer and less of what the world has to offer.
I want to be what God has called me to be.