Adventures in Happiness: Happiness Through Growth
In our culture, we celebrate all kinds of growth and progress, and this week we particularly pause to reflect on the bountiful harvest on our community farm. This harvest is not only measured in pounds of produce, but in families fed and encouraged, volunteers having a place to serve, awareness raised about food injustice, and community experienced as we work alongside one another. But the growth of farm produce also reminds us of our own growth—because we are all growing and changing, whether we like it or not!
As followers of Jesus, we do not want to stress and strive and try to “better ourselves” by an act of sheer will. Nor do we seek growth as the means to love and acceptance—we are already loved and accepted just as we are. Because we are loved, Jesus invites us into a process of growth and transformation that—while not always a comfortable process—leads to more profound happiness for ourselves and others. Spiritual growth, while in some ways a mystery, has very practical consequences in our lives. As we grow, we become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful, self-controlled… in brief: more like Jesus.