Every day we worry about not only our chores, but also our well-being, our desires, and our dreams of accomplishing great achievements. It is this dynamism that leads us to make everyday decisions in order to be happy, eventually building up to a personal definition of a “happy life.” But how do we get there?
There are no maps or GPS to guide us to this life of happiness that we desire. We know that, regardless of the life we are building, no one will issue us a “happy person” diploma. However, the words of Jesus seem to be the starting point for discerning a path capable of acquiring happiness and life.
There’s a lot to be said about happiness. On the one hand, it is not an abstract concept; on the other hand, its implications are always beyond the individual person. No one is happy alone. However, for happiness to become authentic in human life it also has the mark of God – it is a divine gift!
This divine-human articulation is not always easy to establish. Instead of listening to the voice of God, we prefer to hear only ours, sometimes even becoming suspicious of “the good intentions God has for us”. This is neither a fatalistic nor an impossible situation. On the contrary, it allows us to live our humanity in fullness – a humanity that demands a relationship and a common path.
When we look at the future, we do not look for ways to survive nor do we dream of a life that is simply lived routinely and unrelated to personal goals. On the contrary, we dream about what we would like to have, to achieve and, above all, what we would like to be. In this dream, we often seem to compete with God, even setting up barriers that distinguish “what I want” from “what God wants”.
But the common goal of living life to the fullest – a life in abundance – necessarily nullifies this idea of competition. Perhaps the dream is often the same, but the way of arriving there and living it is different. In our humanity we see only the immediate and it always seems that things could be easier or more in tune with our own way.
If we analyse it well, the major obstacles do not even stand in the sphere of what God wants, nor in the sphere of what we want, but in the opinion of the people around us.
Vocation is happiness in abundance! A happiness that is never easy (the most beautiful roses are the ones that have the most thorns), but which always results in abundance for the one who accepts it and for all those around (even if, initially, they present themselves as obstacles to living the vocation).
In the vocational experience, you have to put your feet on the path with the humility of those who seek and who, therefore, need help to walk and discern; but also with the faith capable of recognizing that God will manifest Himself beyond the difficulties that may arise. Discernment and acceptance of the challenges of vocation and the time of encounter begins with a true encounter with God and looking for solutions to the difficulties that seem to appear as insurmountable obstacles to vocation. (Susana Vilas Boas)