One of the things that has really been on my mind lately is the impact that the gospel of Jesus Christ has on the depth and richness of my life. I am always looking around at the lives of the people that surround me, always trying to see the differences, and trying to understand the reason that those differences exist. As I observe the lives of the people around me, I am also reflecting on the richness of my life and on the ways that I must improve and grow in order to make it a more fulfilling and meaningful experience.
I am noticing more and more that there are so many different ways to live life. Although we might live in the same town, go to the same college, work in the same hospital – I still see that there is a radical difference between the various experiences of life that surround me. What seems to be a deeper difference is not the specific physical and experiential circumstance that surround a person but the mindset/worldview within which they operate; the values that govern the heart of the person determine the vast difference in the experience of life that one has.
What makes me think that I am on the right path when there are so many?
At the same time – I am noticing that, with the different experiences of life that fill this world come various depths of joy and richness. The world is full of people who are happy or sad, fulfilled or empty, useless or purposeful – and all for different reasons. People find joy and meaning in all sorts of things – and some things bring more joy than others.
What makes me think that my source of joy is superior to theirs?
Now, the conclusion that I am now expected to make is to say something like, “After all this, I realize that my way and my joy is no better than others. I need to be more humble and more mindful of all the things that they have to offer me rather than setting my worldview over and above theirs.” But if I am honest with myself I must say that nothing could be further from the truth.
I notice that there are many half-happy people in this world, who are very much content with being half-happy. They just seem to be going with the flow and only stopping to reevaluate and grow when they face some sort of major life difficulty. Aside from that they don’t want to be bothered or challenged in their pursuits and purposes.
But the idea of merely and peacefully settling for ‘what works’ is so very much unsettling to me. What if there is an ocean of depth and meaning and joy that beyond this half-happy pragmatic perspective? As I seek to understand the best that this world has to offer I am still left wanting. There must be something more.