All of us desire to be happy. Happiness is what we are seeking after in every decision. I choose this college because I think it will be the best for me for this career so that I can be happy. I choose this house in this place because I think it will make me happy. Even the smaller decisions of life, like getting a coffee or having pizza for dinner, I choose because I think this will bring me some level of happiness. However, some of these things don’t actually bring me the happiness I expect, and all of these things eventually pass away, and so in the end are ultimately unsatisfying. They are unsatisfying
because my desire for happiness is not just to be happy for one moment, or to be happy for only a few minutes, and then I can go on with my life being unhappy the rest of the time. No, I desire to be happy to the greatest degree and for an infinite amount of time. This is the happiness we desire, and nothing in this world can provide for that infinite degree of satisfaction for an infinite amount of time because everything in this world passes away. The chocolate cake gets eaten. The wine bottle has a bottom. Only something infinite that never passes away can fully satisfy this infinite desire. Only God, who is infinite goodness, can fully fulfill my desire for infinite happiness.
Our desire for infinite happiness can only be satisfied in our relationship with our infinite God, who is goodness and love itself – who created us and knows how to fulfill the deep desires of our hearts. For this reason, the greatest and most fulfilling occupation of our lives is our relationship with God, is Prayer. If we want to be happy, we have to go to the source of Happiness and the source of our desire, and the way we do this is through conversation and communion with God. Our lives will remain empty, meaningless, and unfulfilled if we do not spend time with the One who fills all things, gives meaning to who we are and what we are called to do on this earth, and shares His own life of gift and love with us. If we want to satisfy our desire for infinite Happiness, we need to spend time in conversation every day with the One who fulfills that desire.
What daunts us when we go to Pray in silence is that we are not only encountering the living God, we are also encountering ourselves, with all of our mess – and that scares us maybe even more than encountering the living God. We don’t want to look at our ugliness or face the dark places of our hearts. What overcomes this fear is the truth that you are made in the image and likeness of God – that in fact, even though there is lots of ugliness in your life, you are an amazingly beautiful work of God’s creation, and it is good that you exist. There is a greatness that you have that no one else has, and God delights in you. This truth makes Prayer less daunting, because God is worth getting to know and the parts of you which you haven’t yet uncovered are also worth getting to know. God has chosen to dwell in your soul and make it His home because you are worth making a home out of. I encourage you to begin spending ten to fifteen minutes a day with the God who satisfies all of your desires and not to be afraid of the glory and beauty he reveals to you about who you are, even in the midst of the messiness which He desires to transform and redeem. Speak to Him as a friend, open your hearts to Him, read His words to you, and discover the treasure for whom you are willing to leave everything else behind.