Life, Liberty and Pursuit of FruitfulnessWritten by Andrei Yashurin
At some stage of our spiritual development, we’ve got to realize that laws of life are often paradoxical. With such and understanding it is much easier to handle all seeming failures, which are mainly caused by our addiction to linear thinking.
One of greatest paradoxes of life is that people don’t become happy by pursuing happiness.
Of course, some people do not pursue happiness at all – they lost their illusions long time ago, and their main goal is to get by, or, perhaps, to gain a small advantage over others. They are doing what is natural for a natural person, so there is no reason to condemn them. But how about those idealists who believe that life is governed by spiritual principles, ones that people can know and apply for their benefit? Is it worthwhile for them to strive and to pray, asking God to make them happy?
My personal experience, and experience of some people I know proves that answer to this question is NO. Every time someone set his (her) mind to pursue happiness, he (she) is doomed for a disappointment.
Have you ever heard phrases like that: "Let someone come to my life and make me happy", or "I will be truly happy when I’ll get this thing" ? The basic problem of most seekers of happiness is that they look for it outside of themselves, but happiness just doesn’t belong to world of things, or even human relationships. Truly, when we get what we want, or meet "the right" person, we experience fulfillment – but only for a short time. Unhappiness is a state of mind, and unless we deal with it at its root, it will eventually poison our prosperity and even our "ideal" relationships.
There is also another category of people, who believe that happiness comes from an inside, from our intimate relationships with God, and they do their best to cultivate those relationships through prayer, meditation and religious observances. They are closer to truth, but still don’t comprehend it, and still don’t happy. Why? Because when people say "I need nothing but God to make me happy", they continue to remain self-centered and blind to what He wants to do in their life.
I guess, most of us have been acquainted with unhappy religious zealots, and wondered why God’s promise of an abundant life does not work for them.
Possibility Thinking and ServiceWritten by Andrei Yashurin
Possibility thinking has to do with possibilities to serve, to give, to contribute, to make a difference, to make our world a better place. Only such an attitude is worthy of our consideration. To follow Christ means to serve, and Jesus plainly stated that service is not only a commandment - it is only way for us to become great as human beings.
“Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant” (Mark 10:43).
Jesus Himself was greatest servant. The Bible shows us in John 13 how He humbled Himself and washed feet of disciples, giving us one of best examples of how true possibility thinkers think and act. Can we learn something from Him? Certainly! Every time this story comes to my mind, I am reminded of profound truth:
Possibility thinkers serve out of their inner awareness.
“Jesus, knowing that Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God...” (John 13:3), says Scripture.
Possibility thinkers serve out of their awareness of who they are.
We are like Jesus. We came from God, and we are going to God, because we belong to God. We all are sons and daughters of God, and there are no exceptions. True Christian life starts for us moment we come to an understanding of this fact.
Do we realize our position in God’s eyes? What value do we attach to it? Do we treasure our relationships with Father above all else, like Jesus did, or, perhaps, they seem to be a secondary thing for us? It is easy to know. We just need to ask ourselves some additional questions: Can we be manipulated by praise or blame of others? Do we strive for outward acceptance and recognition? To a degree people allow it to happen in their life, they lack true realization of who they are. Jesus was able to say, “I do not receive honor from men" (John 5:41) not because He was haughty, but because He was totally secure in His union with Father.
Possibility thinkers serve out of an abundance of their resources.
“Jesus, knowing that Father had given all things into His hands...” (John 13:3).