It is a New Year

Not too many years ago, lots of toys needed lots of batteries. The few stores that were opened on Christmas had lots and lots of batteries for sale because they were often forgotten or overlooked. They were forgotten even though there was a warning on the box, “Batteries NOT Included.” I have spent more than one Christmas morning waiting in line to purchase them and thus helping a toy reach its full potential as my child’s source of happiness. This also meant my happiness as a parent was dependent upon batteries, too.

Imagine the moment with me. Your child has hinted for weeks at what she wants for Christmas. She has told Santa Claus (Which never made sense. If he knows if we’ve been naughty or nice, shouldn’t he know what we want for Christmas?). The long awaited day has arrived. You’ve just laid your head down after trying to put the other gifts together with their dreadful warning, “Some assembly required.” The kids wake up…early. So early, you are convinced that it is still Christmas Eve. You stumble down to the tree and the chaos starts.

Wrapping paper is all over the place. Boxes are empty. And your kids are thrilled with all they have received. Until…

It breaks. Does not have power. Isn’t exactly what they wanted. Is missing batteries. The list goes on.

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from Giphy.com

What was supposed to be a source of great joy turned into weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Today is different. Batteries are almost always included. The only assembly requires is connecting to the Internet or finding the proper port for the HDMI cable. Christmas should be getting easier and more satisfying, right? But technology has its own “Batteries Not Included” problems. Poor Wifi, no 4G LTE, or the App won’t load.

I have seen my fair share of disappointing Christmases. That does not, however, keep me from making lists of things I think will make me happy. I’ll be happy when I get a newer motorcycle, a vacation, or whatever. Maybe your list includes a promotion, pay raise, new car, new house, clothes, friends, relationship, losing weight, graduating, getting a job, or electing the right president. Have you discovered what I have discovered? My happiness is only satisfied for as long as the thing last or I get used to it and then I want the next thing to be happy. Even if there is nothing wrong with whatever I wanted my happiness only lasted until “New and Improved” came along (just think iPad, iPhone, iPod). Then I wonder, How will I ever be happy if I don’t have that?!

Happiness is fragile when it depends on something that depends on something else to work. Which leads me to New Year’s Resolutions…did your neck hurt from the sharp change in direction?

Who doesn’t want more happiness in their lives? I know I do. How much happier would I be if I didn’t keep trying to have things fill that role? I would be immensely happy. If someone got the latest and greatest thingamabob, I could celebrate with them instead of envying them.

I can only do this if I have a truly satisfying source for my emotional well-being. It would need to be a source that would never fail, never run out of power, and never break. If I had that as my source, everything else simply becomes something useful or beneficial. I can take it or leave it. It has no power over my happiness.

This year I am going to make one resolution: Drawing closer to God and letting God fill me and satisfy my needs for acceptance, joy, and peace. God’s love is unconditional and unchanging. What better foundation for happiness and joy than one that is so solid and secure and does not depend on anything else to work?

I hope you will look for a power source to offers true, no strings attached, no batteries needed happiness this year. It has worked for me and only gets better with time.

Happy New Year!