The Pursuit Of Happiness According To HGTV
If years of watching HGTV shows has taught me anything, it's that our society perpetuates an expectation of getting more than we are willing to work for. So many future homeowners set out on their way to finding the house of their dreams with a long list of the features that they believe to be non-negotiable (open floor plan, granite countertops, a large backyard for the dogs to play...), and confidently smile at their real estate agent when they announce that the amount of money they would like to pay for their new space is not much more than the total of an average grocery receipt. The agent will then playfully roll their eyes before producing, thanks to the magic of television, a parade of properties that fit the home seeker's designs almost perfectly. If there are any needed improvements to the home, a handsome contractor will swoop in and inform the new homeowner that their life will be brought into perfect harmony with the simple installation of a new beam.
The reality of these "reality" shows, dear friends, is that they do not reflect reality at all. Anything worth having – from a nice home to a healthy relationship with our family and friends, and especially a thriving connection with our God – only comes when we are willing to invest our time, our resources, and our hearts to growth. The old cliché "nothing worth having ever comes easy" is, in fact, true. It is only when we are committed to giving our journey our all that we are able to truly flourish and live out our God-given purpose. Today, let's explore how we can use our time, our resources, and our hearts to grow in communion with Him.
The home seekers on HGTV seem to spend no time at all on the search for a new home. Often, their search can be condensed into a 30-minute pursuit of happiness from start to finish. But the needs of our souls to seek and commune with all that is divine, internal though they may be, require so much more of our attention. Every relationship in our lives has a starting point, including our relationship with God. From there, it is up to us to attend to our collective growth through the gift of time. The good news is that God always has time for us to turn to Him, and is always waiting to see, to hear, and to embrace us.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
We are all guilty of the very human error of double-mindedness, focused on the people and things around us rather than fixing our eyes on the Creator, but these words of Scripture assures us that He will never ignore us or turn away from us. The amount of time that God has to spend with each of us is infinite - and it is a gift given to each of us in the form of the quiet whispers of our souls that encourage us to desire the joy that is found in God's warmth rather than the comforts of material possessions that will eventually fall away.
As I alluded to previously, many individuals on the hunt for the perfect home approach the journey with a willingness to invest only a very small amount of their total worth to the place in which they will live. While this is a responsible approach to home ownership (even if the allocation of resources often does not match the ambition of the search), this practice should not be prescriptive of our relationship with God. Our connection with Him should be one in which we hold nothing back. We know, even if popular television shows cause us to think differently, that we cannot expect to receive things of high value at no cost - and we certainly cannot hold out when it comes to our relationship with God.
The Word assures us that we will always get what we give, so we need to give all that we have to Him with the comforting knowledge that because He loves us, He will bless us in equal portion and return our actions with demonstrations of His love: "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38)
Many potential homeowners find homes that reflect exactly what they were looking for, but from time to time, an episode will air that will show a home seeker who had to settle for less than what they wanted. This is not to say that they could not have had more if they would have committed their time and resources to the hunt, but rather, this is a demonstration of a somewhat despondent heart. Our relationship with God calls us to never settle - to keep the promises of His Word on our hearts in all times and seasons, and to live out our purpose of bringing His mission to life for others. Certainly, the weight of this world can bear down upon us in high measure, tempting us to crack under its pressure and darken our hearts with its cynicism, but in those times of spiritual tumult, we have been given the unique task of giving our hearts to God so that He might make us new, to withstand the storms that we will face, and to bring His glory to the world.
Today, I am praying for each of you who read these words, that your heart will be made pure by God, and your spirit renewed in the steadfast strength of His love (Psalm 51:10). May the joy of knowing God in the depths of your heart encourage you to give yourself fully to the journey of growing with Him, that you may see His face reflected in those around you, and that you may never hold back in your love of God, living and true.
How can you better commit your time, resources, and heart to your relationship with God?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Rebecca Flasz is an avid traveler, lifestyle writer, and elementary school teacher turned college professor. She holds degrees in Education at the Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, and Doctorate of Education levels and has a heart for teaching others. In addition, she is a passionate free spirit who enjoys a good cup of tea, spending time outdoors with family, and listening to the sounds of wind chimes and singing birds. She believes in writing pieces that are reflective of the loving kindness of Christ, meant to help others feel worthy and loved. You can read more of Rebecca's writing on her blog Sagebrush and Salt.