We live in a world where being overbooked and exhausted is normal. We add many items to our daily to-do lists and feel super productive and satisfied if we’re able to check off every point by 11pm.
Well at least for me anyway. The question is though, are we really happy with our lives or is there true joy in our daily routines of living?
For most of us, a large drive behind the chores we create for ourselves revolve around lack of satisfaction.
We see symptoms in the way we binge-watch Netflix for hours, browse social media in every spare moment or eat everything in the cupboard when darkness falls.
It can feel like we’re longing for more, more purpose and more fulfilment.
I have some methods that I use to combat these feelings. Here are my 3 suggestions on how to increase your joy in ways that matter.
1) Find out what lies beneath the surface
We all have bad habits but are they actually bad habits or just symptoms or something deeper. What's missing?
Self reflection and enquiry are powerful tools God equipped us with. Why not use them to uncover some solutions to combat the emptiness we are feeling?
Is my snacking just a bad habit or do I need more nutrition in my diet? Should I adjust the layout of my room? Why am I browsing facebook past the amount of time I alloted. What am I distracting myself from? It's weird asking so many questions but finding out the why's are what lead us to answers (so profound lol).
If I’m real, I found that my own desire is for a deep communion that comes through unguarded relationships. I find that by sitting with a close friend and connecting without (conversational) limits brings this kind of fulfilment. I realise that I also long for a deep love. I long for communion with the God who created me.
Acknowledging that I long for a face-to-face conversation with God is a great place to start.
2) Close a door and commune
Jesus wasn’t a loner but he spent long periods of time by himself on mountainsides. He was desperate to get alone and commune with his father.
If i'm honest about this one, sometimes a box of wings from Morley’s sounds much more fulfilling than the work of prayer. Sometimes prayer feels like a chore and if I’m overworked, the last thing I want is more work. However, communion with God should not feel like a burdern and being with God doesn’t look the same for any two people.
Closing the door to commune with God could look like reading the bible or for someone else it might look like listening to a gospel playlist. It could be writing a journal (like i'm doing now) or it could simply be painting with a worship filled heart.
The key here is to get alone and connect.
3) Do something you love
Sometimes we can over-spiritualize our lives. Personally, i'm passionate about adventuring into the wilderness, talking to God through music , exploring new places, travelling and whenever I get the chance; expressing through making creative videos.
For a few years, I quit pursuing these passions because I believed they weren’t spiritual enough. Imagine, I actually felt guilty lol. Slowly but surley, God showed me that these passions were placed in my heart by Him. He is pleased when he sees us enjoying the gifts he put within us.
I don’t advocate quitting ‘ministry’ for full-time pursuit of your recreational passions full time but we all need relief from the mundane parts of life. Find ways to build your skills and passions whilst maintaining a relationship with God.
Wherever you are today, there’s a good chance these words find you exhausted, over scheduled and overextended. An encounter with the heart of God will fill your soul with joy in a way nothing else can.
It’s time to pursue that encounter.