The Secret to Happiness

Liz Sears // Blessed Bookshelf


November 4  

I am in the middle of reading Fr. Jacques Philippe’s book, Time for God. He is a phenomenal author, and this particular book is full of powerful little treasures. I read slowly in order to soak up the gifts that are laid throughout. One sentence from this book has literally changed my life: Humble people are never discouraged, because they do not rely on themselves, but on God.

I have been repeating the quote above in my head several times a day ever since I was struck by it. I believe it is one of the keys I’ve been searching for. I believe that discouraged can be interchanged with other states of mind that moms often suffer, including worried, anxious, and weary.

A major milestone in my spiritual life was several years ago when I became convinced that the secret to happiness is trust in God.

I’ve tried to apply it to every aspect of my life, but it’s a long and difficult road. We can’t simply dump a bucket of trust, like paint, over our lives and expect it to cover everything. No, we have to meticulously and repeatedly apply trust in God to each little thing as we come upon it. It requires a lot of practice and a lot of grace, and grace is dispensed by God as he sees fit.

I believe the quote above is intertwined with God’s grace, because it gives the step-by-step instructions for trusting in God. Step one: Remember that I can do nothing on my own, that I am powerless. Step two: Rely entirely on God. This is not an easy way out or a shortcut or a lazy escape; this is actually true humility. It is permission to stop being so hard on myself. It points me to the next foothold in climbing the ladder of trusting in God.

Ever since I took note of these words, my goal has been to take the time to apply it to whatever is burdening me, discouraging me, worrying me. Whenever I take the time to do this, the burden nearly instantly disappears. It’s only gone temporarily: it will come sneaking back, and I have to try to remain vigilant with my weapon of this powerful quote, ready to slay it again. The hard part is actually taking the time to do this, and doing it over and over again.

Changing habits, especially mental habits, is difficult and takes a lot of practice. Instead of, or better yet, in addition to stopping to smell the roses, we need to take the time to stop and “smell” the power of God.

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