Recently I read an article that said one step to happiness is nurturing your spiritual side. “Study after study finds that actively religious people are happier, and that they cope better with crises.” This was merely one of four steps to making one’s life happier. Everyone searches for happiness, for fulfillment, for contentment. And at the age of 19, I have found an answer I’ve never seen before.
My “spiritual side” says that I will never find it, and that is precisely the basis for my happiness. These thoughts, inspired and also confirmed by the book Things Unseen by Mark Buchanan, as well as scripture references in the Bible, have given me a new mindset. I have come to realize that nothing on Earth can ever satisfy me. Nothing. No event, no purchase, no accomplishment and no relationship will ever bring me full satisfaction.
This thought process in itself has been life changing because it gets rid of the importance of “getting.” Much of what we hear from others, and even what we say to ourselves, is, “I want this, I want that. I can’t wait until I get this.” And because of this constant want, we chain ourselves to the world, pretending this is all we are living for. Things Unseen has inspired me to have a heavenly mindset, looking toward heaven for my hope, rather than expecting someone or something to bring me happiness, which can be a type of “hope-deferred.” The book brings light to the fact that there is nothing wrong with always desiring something more. We were created with souls that long for something else, and that something will be heaven.
Heaven will be complete intimacy with Christ; that can never happen on Earth. We can continue to grow closer and closer to our Savior, but we can never achieve complete intimacy. Yet, this is what our souls long for.
I was reminded that I must not expect to give and receive more in my relationships with others than in my relationship with Christ. Buchanan’s insight allowed me to realize that “yearning itself is healthy—a kind of compass inside us, pointing to True North.”
I have always said, “Jesus, You are everything I need.” So what makes my mindset any different? I actually have a reason to believe this. I would often say this to God, but I never really believed it. I still thought that marriage or having a family would be everything I needed. I always looked to my future on Earth to fulfill my desires. But now I see that only my future in heaven can give me satisfaction. And therefore, I live for the joy of heaven, the joy of Christ, rather than the joy of marriage, or of a family.
Many Christians jokingly say (and I am guilty of it myself) things like “Jesus, don’t come back until I get married, or until I have a child.” But behind every joke there is some truth. That mindset gives us reason to believe that we were created for this world. We must remember we weren’t. We must remember that nothing on Earth will ever give us the satisfaction we long for.
Once we have this mindset and continue to renew it each day, when those we love disappoint us or the accomplishments we receive no longer make us happy, our world will not crash, because our world is in heaven.