Saturday, May 7, 2022

Happiness Now

Hear this lesson on my new podcast: Gleams of the Morning

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job‬ ‭33:4‬ ‭(WEB‬‬) 

Humans seemingly have a pretty long life span in the animal kingdom. But when you start to look at the longest lived animals, you start to realize we don’t live so long after all. Some turtles live for over two hundred years. The bowhead whale does also. The Greenland shark holds the current record for longest lived vertebrate at 400 years. Then if we discuss trees, humans existence seems more like just a blip. Some species live for 1000-2000 years. A tree living in a churchyard of the Llangernyw village in North Wales is about 4000 years old.1 Our average lifespan of 70 years does not seem like so much time anymore. 

Now I want to challenge your notion of lifespan a bit. Doctors tell us that the human body is not equipped to live 70+ years on its own. Our biology does not allow it. For most humans, their true lifespan is only 2-3 minutes. After that, we must take a breath. You nor I are guaranteed 70 years. Tomorrow is not even certain. Your true lifespan is only 2-3 minutes. 

Remember our key text? “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Most people breathe 12-20 times per minute at rest. The Bible says each of those breaths come from Almighty God. He enables your existence from one moment to the next. On your own, you will only last 2-3 minutes. Perhaps you will last a bit longer if you’re a world champion swimmer.

You see the real pleasures of life are found in every day existence. Not in waiting for things we don’t have. They are found in the small interactions we have daily. When someone smiles at us or gives a complement, when we watch an animal play, when we listen to a good song or have a positive conversation with another person we feel happy. Life consists of the smallest moments adding up to a meaningful existence. 

Happiness often comes from places we don’t expect. We tend to seek happiness in things we don’t have like more money, or popularity, better fitness, a vacation, a specific relationship. We easily forget the sources of happiness we do have right now, in this moment. Invest your energy in these sources of happiness that are immediately available as much as you invest in future sources of happiness. You are only guaranteed the next few minutes, so try to make them count. 

Questions to ponder or discuss:

1. How have you been measuring your happiness?
2. Have you been waiting for something you don’t have to make you happy instead of looking for the happiness you do have now?
3. Name three sources that give you meaning or happiness right now.
4. God extended his grace to you today to make you happy, have you shared it with someone else?

Written by David F. Garner
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