The key to finding peace and joy consists in focusing on who and what is really important in our lives, and expressing gratitude to God for his many gifts that far surpass the deceptive and distracting “wants” of this world.
It is easy in today’s society to get so wrapped up in things that we miss what is important around us. Something as simple as watching the sun set or the sun rise is a gift from God. It shows just how much God loves us because He gives us another day to start anew. We often times don’t see that because we are still stuck living in yesterday, which is not a good way to be. For example, if we commit a sin and go to confession, we are forgiven. There is a certain amount of guilt that is necessary to fully embrace the forgiveness that Jesus gave us. As soon as we enter confession and truly, with our hearts confess then we should no longer be controlled by the chains of that sin.
When the sun rises on another day, it is a fresh start to praise God and spread His word. We are so stuck living in the past or worrying about what the future holds that we miss out on the now. We miss out on spreading God’s word because when you hold onto the past there is no room for God to work. I realized when you fill your mind with senseless stuff there is no room for Jesus. I at one time was too worried about everything instead of just focusing on the love of Jesus. When you focus just on yourself, you miss out on so much that you could be gaining from following Jesus.
We live in a society where everything is disposable, even people! Once we get done with something we just throw it aside. Instead of realizing what God has given us, we always want more. Something as simple as a shirt could be worn only once, deemed out of style then thrown into the back of a closet. Instead of taking gratitude in the fact that you have clothes that you are able to wear. We become too self-involved in this instance because we are thinking more of ourselves and how we will fit into the mold.
Recently when I was at my Parish a man I had never met came to look at some free books that we were giving out. We began talking about the love of Christ and being happy with what you have. He made a great point that sometimes people with great wealth don’t have as much joy as those who make less. This is evident with celebrities, many of whom go through countless divorces, time in rehabs and constant meltdowns. This goes to prove that just because you have everything materially, it will not bring you contentment.
The same goes for many aspects of the next bigger and “better” thing, when in retrospect, it really never was better. It is that simple gratification we feel when we get the item, a sense of finally belonging in society. We are Christians though and we are not supposed to feel like that because of material possessions. When you hand out food to the homeless or lend an ear to someone in need that is how we belong with our peers. It is not about living for this world but for the next.
That is what it all boils down to is instant gratification, the feeling of bliss when you have what you want when you want it – even if you don’t need it. Needs and wants are two very different things and should be viewed with Christ in mind. Okay, I need food and can have a simple meal but I want caviar – what would Christ prefer you to choose? It’s okay to have a treat once in a while but to live with always having what you want is not the best way to be. That is how our society is, without cease they are never satisfied until they have what they want. I used to be the same way, controlled by the thought that I wanted to be just like everyone else so I needed certain things to be that way. I draw my joy through Christ and living His way which is what we as a society need to get back to. Even if we as Christians start the movement, then others will follow.