What do we want from Jesus Christ / God? … A sugar-daddy or a guiding and transforming mentor?
Do we really know what we NEED, or are we busy looking for what we WANT? Are we chasing MEANINGFULNESS or HAPPINESS?
An interesting scientific study was done by Berkeley Univ in America which studied the difference between meaningfulness and happiness. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happy_life_different_from_meaningful_life
The major key difference between the two is that happiness is not always connected with meaningfulness. Happiness comes and goes according to health, wealth, etc.
Whereas, meaningfulness always involves some sacrifice or service for the good of others.
Our younger generations, in all countries, are bombarded with so much advertising and false messages, that many are looking for happiness in money and material goods, rather than through strong relationships and service to the wider community (=meaningfulness).
The crowds, 2000 years ago, welcomed Jesus: they were looking for a Messiah to rescue them politically and bring freedom to Israel: seeking happiness.
And, for many, Jesus became a big disappointment, because he focused on relationships and community service for their spiritual lives: offering meaningfulness. So they rejected Jesus.
And, so, we are also faced with that same challenge: what do we want from Jesus?
Some might ask: What is our spiritual life anyway? Our spiritual life guides our decisions on how to use the energy within us; helps us deal with the pain we encounter in life; and, through our relationship with God, builds an inner certainty of hope that all will be well in the end.
In short, a healthy spiritual life brings about a transformation in how we think and make decisions, and so transform our actions to make a better world and a happier life.
In other words, we must move from seeking happiness as a primary goal, to seeking meaning. Through the actions we do to create a meaningful life, happiness follows… eventually!
Without God in our lives we lose trust in the world and have to take charge of the future for ourselves: searching for happiness. Which ultimately leads to a decrease in meaningfulness and mental stress =unhappiness.
Let us pray for each other that we might reflect on what we want from God and allow ourselves to be transformed. In that way we can remain loyal to each other and with God.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI