Calculating Happiness

Whether it’s about our personal growth, our finances, our careers or remodeling our homes we spend a good bit of time calculating what we need to do to reach our goals.  This is a good thing, because if we just jump without some research, thought and prayer we’re apt to not to reach our goals, or to get ourselves into bad situations.

I was reading Luke 14: 25-33 today and Jesus speaks about such planning.  But what’s really curious is that the “planning” that we need to do in order to live well (aka be his follower), he says, is to “renounce all our possessions.”  Go figure!?  I don’t think that would be the advise that anyone would give us, . . . would it?  It probably wouldn’t be the advise that any good person would give in his day, since having possessions and health were considered evidence of one’s right relationship with God.  So if wealth equaled being in right relationship with God, Jesus turns that upside down by saying:  NO!  To be in right relationship with God and others “renounce all your possessions!”  I don’t see many of us literally doing this, whether fundamentalist or progressive.  So what could this mean for us?

Do I cling to people, places or things?  If I do, I am not living in freedom.  Do I hoard what I have, whether that’s my possessions, my friends, my lover?  If I do, I am not living in freedom.  Yes, we all need to think, to calculate and be responsible with our jobs, careers, schooling, our loved ones.  But that being done, then we need to let go and let God.  In “renouncing” (aka, letting go) of all that I want, can I trust that I will be lead and given all that I need, whether it be love, joy or happiness?

You know, when I look back at my life, it is precisely the times when I have let go of worry about my own time and my own concerns, that I have been most happy.

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