Pursuit of Happiness

I am here and I am on a pursuit of happiness. I look for happiness in everything: my family, my friends, my classes, obstacles, challenges, etc. Of course my happiness is important, but I am quite happy, so long as my relationship with God is strong and I am doing my best to live as He is calling me to live. What is exceptionally important to me is the happiness of others. Making others happy… that is the dream, and I do not mean temporary happiness derived from some earthly materials or emotions that are subject to change at any moment. I mean an eternal happiness, in which people know deep within their very being that they are loved by their creator and the people He sent to surround them. That is the kind of happiness I am after. The kind that begins and ends with love.

One specific moment marked the beginning of my pursuit of happiness. I spent a week in Costa Rica after my senior year of high school with 20 of my closest friends through Family Mission Company. I experienced God’s love in a foreign place, different than I had ever experienced before. I had never been so sure of anything in my entire life until that week and I know I was exactly where God wanted me. I found unconceivable joy and authentic peace simultaneously. One day we were hanging out at the high school with our new friends and one student picked up the guitar we brought. He started playing and after a few seconds we realized he was playing Oceans by Hillsong (my absolute favorite song). The Costa Rican students sang in Spanish while we sang in English and God’s presence was overwhelming. His love surpassed the language barrier. We worshiped together as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of one Lord.

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It was in that moment that my pursuit of happiness became clear to me. Spread his love. It’s that simple (note how I didn’t say easy).

“Spread love everywhere you go; let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” I try, not always succeeding, to allow these words of St. Mother Teresa to guide my life. If I were to summarize my pursuit of happiness, I would say this: I want to love and to make people happy. In all aspects of my life. In my dorm at PC, at home in Pennsylvania, in Costa Rica, in Nicaragua, and in Jamaica. It’s quite simple, but quite serious.

Happiness is a funny thing. Everyone wants to find it but we look in the wrong places. Look to Him. We’re all on a pursuit of happiness, whether we realize it or not. But I am still here.

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