Pursuing happiness


The trek continues for me. Since I ended my employment with Mennonite Church USA on February 1, I have spent a month on the beach in Jamaica, six weeks volunteering for Mennonite World Conference in Strasbourg, France, and shorter times in Collegeville, Minn., Arirzona and Nevada and in Norfolk and Harrisonburg, Virginia.

In the coming months, I'll spend three weeks in June in Scotland and Ireland and two weeks in late July and early August in Ethiopia.

I just told a friend this evening that life is different for me now. I no longer go to bed each evening with "left to do" lists spinning through my head. Daniel Taylor, in his book, In Search of Sacred Places, encourages us to live our lives with a sense of blessing and gratitude. But he says that's hard to do in a culture that multiplies our desires and then calls them needs and rights. Somehow, he says, we need to break free from the tyrannyof insatiable wanting.

My "wants" are broad, but I'm learning in these months that satisfaction can come in smaller things, too. Daniel Taylor offers a Celtic poem as helpful in his own journey and perhaps it can be useful in my trek as well:

Help me find my happiness
in acceptance of my purpose,
in friendly eyes,
in work well done,
in quietness borne by trust,
and most of all
in the awareness of your presence
in my spirit.

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