What are you looking forward to?
28 April 2017
Gretchen Rubin, influential writer/researcher on habits and happiness, believes that one key to happiness is having something to look forward to.
Rubin suggests that everyone needs to be able to look at their calendar and see at least a few fun things scheduled in the coming weeks. Anticipation of these events brings happiness into our life well before the event actually takes place. “If your life is a parade of obligations, dreaded tasks, horrible encounters, and mandatory appearances” she says, “take a minute to figure out something that YOU would find fun, and make time for it.”
If your calendar looks a bit like ‘a parade of obligations’, maybe it’s time to add in a few things that you know will put a smile in your heart and on your face. They don’t have to be big or expensive – it’s the little things, added up, that count the most.
I love Harley Davidson Motorcycles – specifically the 2003, 100th Anniversary Black and Silver editions. Between my brother and I we own a few, and we love to ride them. In my busy life as a single dad of four great kids (all adult now), a chaplain, teacher, mentor and friend, I make sure I fit in at least one weekly ride, usually a Sunday morning breakfast ride with people I love the most - good friends and family. I know, at the end of a crazy week, that my ride is coming. It changes things. Once a year my brother and I fly to the USA and do a ride over there. Over the years we have ridden Route 66, the 101 down the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego, Sturgis, the Black Hills of Dakota, the Milwaukee 110th, the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, the Appalachian Mountains … it’s a long list. This year we are riding the Rocky Mountains from Boise Idaho up into Canada for three weeks in the North American summer. I can’t wait! We have already started the countdown, the anticipation is great, and I know the ride will be even better. Having these weekly and annual events to look forward to definitely adds joy and perspective/balance to my life.
But here is the really big one - the ultimate in adding joy and happiness into my life that many of today’s pop-psychologists miss - Faith. It is the value we are focusing on for the next two weeks at school. The thing I look forward to the most is what is in store at the end. A life of faith adds quality to our life now (Jesus said: “I have come that you might have life to the full.” John 10:10), but also offers the gift of eternal life with Him (Jesus: “Whoever believes in me will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16). This is not a fairytale – it is real, with tons of evidence to back up Jesus’ claims. Jesus said to his disciples on His ascension, “I am going to prepare a place for you, and when I am done I’ll come back to get you.” (John 14:1-3) Revelation 21 and 22 talk about what Heaven will be like. Now that is really something I can’t wait for! Proverbs 30:5 says that “God keeps every promise he makes”. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is “having confidence in what we hope for, and assurance about what we do not see”. It is our faith that gives us the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) even in the middle of the chaos and losses of life. My faith definitely adds great value to my sense of purpose, happiness and wellbeing. If you are interested in exploring a life of faith, you can ask any of our staff, or come along to Gateway Church, our campus church, any Saturday morning. There you will meet a bunch of new friends happy to share their time and their story with you. It’s a great community of people to belong to.
So what are you looking forward to? Both now, and into the future? It’s worth thinking about, and investing in.