Happiness is pursued by women & men, teens & adults, introverts & extroverts alike. Insecurities such as self-doubt and comparison are planted in our minds, and over the years we begin to base our happiness on external circumstances when in fact the external pursuit will never fully satisfy.
We're in a habitual chase of happiness, but in my experience this has been a fruitless endeavor. To chase, by definition, is an earnest or frenzied seeking after something desired (Merriam-Webster). And as such, the chase of happiness will create in your life a never-ending marathon.
Thankfully, though, in a slight transfer of focus our spirits can find satisfaction in cultivating joy. To cultivate, in contrast, is an improvement by labor, care or study (Merriam-Webster). Friends, what a beautiful difference this creates in how we can choose to live out our days.
In cultivating joy, we shift our chase of happiness from an outside-in pursuit to an inside-out contentment (this would be joy) which the Lord calls us to. If we sow our seed in good soil we'll see the Good News begin to take root in our life (Mark 4:20). This, friends, is where we will find our portion. This is where we cultivate our joy.
Life presents a whole lot of white noise. During a five-minute phone conference you may receive 10 new emails, acquire five new items on your to-do list, a gaggle of new Instagram photos in your feed, oh and you're preschooler has dropped his mac&cheese on the floor to which the dogs are now feasting. White noise of our generation abounds producing a need for us to be intentional about cultivating joy in things that really matter.
We should approach our cultivation of joy much like we would a garden. Once planted in good soil, you'll require tending like a plant requires water, sunshine and weeding. Break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12).
Cultivating joy requires daily study and care to root our hearts in the beauty & blessings of life's everyday moments.