March 03: Making Sense of Everything
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Let me ask you something: What do you want? What do you spend your days thinking about? What do you spend your days desiring? What is it that you want?
You see, God gave you the ability to want for a reason. God wants you to want. But he wants you to want things that make you happy, that really make you happy in a deep, deep, deep way. And he wants you to want things that will help you become the-best-version-of-yourself.
When we think about the things that we want, very often we want things because we’re trying to fill something within us.
We feel restless. We feel that we’re not content. We feel unfulfilled. We feel hungry for meaning in our lives. So a lot of the things we want are in response to that.
In our spiritual journey, one of the things we’re called to do is to recognize, “Ok, I want that thing, but why do I want that thing? What’s the motive for wanting that thing? What is it in me that wants that thing? And what am I trying to accomplish?”
You see, you’ve got a hole in you. You’ve got a hole in you, I’ve got a hole in me.
Pretty big hole.
When we’re little kids, we try to fill that hole with different things.
As little kids, we think, “Oh, if I get that bike, then I’ll be satisfied, then I’ll be fulfilled, then I’ll be content.” We get the bike, and it doesn’t work.
A few weeks later, we’re not fulfilled—we want something else. We think, “Oh, if I get those running shoes!” And we get the running shoes, and that doesn’t work either.
As we grow older, we tend to develop these desires around social connections. We tend to think, “Oh, if this person is my best friend, or if that person is my best friend, then I’ll be fulfilled, then I’ll be satisfied forever.” And of course that doesn’t work.
As we grow into adolescence, we tend to turn our attention towards pleasure and the idea that, “Ok, if I had this pleasure, or that pleasure, or this other pleasure, or maybe all the pleasures at one time, then I’ll be fulfilled, then I’ll be satisfied, then I’ll be content.” And of course that doesn’t work either.
As we come into early adulthood, we tend to turn our attention toward accomplishment and the idea that, “If I can accomplish this thing, or that thing, or the other thing, or all of the things, or something great, something notable, then I’ll be happy, then I’ll be fulfilled, then I’ll be satisfied.” And of course that doesn’t work either.
At that point, what most people do is just cycle back through the same cycles again. Things, people, accomplishments, money, just more, more, more.
See, we’ve got this hole. We’re trying to fill this hole that we’ve got within us. The problem is, it’s a God-sized hole. Only God can fill it. All that other stuff we’re trying to fill that hole with, in some way, is saying we haven’t allowed God to take a big enough role in our lives. We haven’t allowed God to have a big enough role in our world. And all of that is an invitation to explore that.
If you feel confused, if you feel a little bit lost, if you feel just even a little disoriented in your life, chances are something other than God is at the center of your life right at this moment. So the question becomes, “How do you get God back at the center of your life?” Because when God’s at the center of our lives, everything makes sense.
What we tend to do is say, “Ok, God I’ll do whatever you want, I’m a hundred percent available.” And we put God right at the center of our lives.
And then little by little, we take everything back from God.
Little by little, we just sort of move God over a little bit each day.
And then we realize we’re back at the center of our lives, or something else is back at the center of our lives.
And so this is a great time for us to say, “Ok, what is at the center of my life, and what do I need to do to to put God back at the center of my life?”
I’ll give you a tip: A great way to do it is through your decisions.
When you’re making decisions, ask yourself, “Am I putting God at the center of this decision?”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 27
(as cited in Resisting Happiness)
It is only by placing God at the center of everything that we can make sense of life.
Place God at the center of the next decision you make by choosing not what you want or what is most advantageous to you, but what you honestly feel God wants you to do.
Jesus, I yearn for happiness because you created me for happiness. Help me to accept the happiness you offer each day by putting you at the center of my life.
Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Jessica Amsberry. Jessica is one of our graphic designers and comes to us from Tarpon Springs, Florida. Jessica enjoys grocery shopping, a good cup of tea, and horseback riding.
In what area of your life do you need to place God at the center?
Let us know in the comments!