Remember that game? Crouched in a corner? Trying to breathe without making noise? One person hides and another person seeks. That’s how it works. The truth is, it’s not all that different from our lives now. We may do it in different ways, but we are all trying to hide from things we don’t like. Things like pain, embarrassment and fear. We hide from things that hurt us. On the flip side, we’re all seeking certain things too. We spend a lot of time and energy seeking acceptance, excitement, fun, and whatever it is that makes us feel good. The hard part is, either way we’re not always successful. What happens when our best efforts fail? When, no matter how hard we try, pain still gets in and happiness still gets away? Sometimes, part of growing up is deciding to stop playing the game.
Session One: The Pursuit of Happiness
Bottom Line: Choosing Joy > Chasing Happiness
What would make you happy? For most of us, the answer comes to mind pretty quickly. Is it a car? The right date? More freedom? We spend a lot of time and energy chasing down the things that make us happy. The only problem is that happiness isn’t easily caught. It’s slippery. We have it one minute and the next minute it’s gone. The chase begins again. But what if there was something better than happiness? What if there was something more constant that didn’t slip out of our grasp every time our circumstances change? It’s called joy. And through the words of Jesus’ brother, James, we find that choosing joy is better than chasing happiness.
Session Two: Roller Coaster
Bottom Line: God can turn something broken into something beautiful.
Life can be a roller coaster sometimes. One week is great. The next week is terrible. And it seems like it’s always something different that makes or breaks it: your dating life (or lack of it), how you played in the big game, how well you did on the test, and a million other things. Most of us try to enjoy the good moments and hide from the bad ones. The problem is that no matter how we try to hide it, cover it, or stuff it away, pain is a part of life. It’s something we all experience. But that doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in it forever. There is a way through the mess. And if we’re willing to allow Him in, God can use the most broken parts of our lives to build something beautiful.