I'm dedicating this month of my Happiness Project to focusing on Faith. It is, after all, the foundation for my worldview. I've wrestled, you guys. I've wrestled with other Christians and the Church and religion in general. But my faith? I can't help but cling to it. Faith is special and incomprehensible and I can't imagine my life without it.
I don't really talk too much about my religion on this blog. There are a few posts here and there where I do write about my faith or mention my relationship with God. But on this blog, you won't find discussions on theology, debates on doctrine, or diatribes against certain denominations. Not my style, really. What you'll find here is honesty about a faith journey that's far from over. I don't have all the answers and I probably don't even have all the right questions. But I have faith. That much I know, and that much I can write about.
So this month is all about going back to the roots of my faith. I know, for me, I've felt the happiest and most fulfilled when my spiritual life is healthy and thriving. This month isn't about following religious rules. It's not about being the most perfect Christian ever. It's about returning back to a place where I find joy in the expressions of faith in my life. It's about finding happiness in the bigger picture and putting my life in perspective. So even if we don't share the same faith, I hope this month we can still grow together and learn from each other.
GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER
Worship during rush hour
Join a Small Group*
Read the entire Bible in 30 days
*For those who don't speak Christianese, "Small Group" (also known as Home Group, Community Group, Life Group, etc.) refers to a smaller group of people within a Church who meet on a regular basis to study the Bible or have faith-based discussions.
I'll just say it right now: Most days, I'm a total grump at the end of the day. I work forty hours a week and in total I spend 10 hours a week commuting. Ugh. Just typing that out hurt my soul.
The drive home every day is the absolute worst. The end of the day leaves me so tired, and the last thing I want to do is deal with Los Angeles traffic (which, yes, is as bad as you've heard). When I leave the office, I'm not in a positive frame of mind. I end up spending the hour-long drive letting my mind wander and focusing on negative things. By the time I get home, all the negativity and baggage from the day is hard to shake off.
I needed an easy way to decompress in the long car ride home every day. I needed something positive and uplifting to get me through my commute. So I decided that every day during rush hour, I will listen to Christian worship music. I know what you're thinking and yes, some Christian contemporary music is basically the worst. I'm pretty picky about Christian music that I can actually tolerate. Just because it's about Jesus does not mean I have to like it, amen?
So I make sure to listen to the stuff I do like: Long, sweeping ballads and gospel that gives me goosebumps and the occasional singer-songwriter who weaves beautiful words together with sweet melodies.
I thought that this goal would be something that I dreaded doing every day, but it's actually quite the opposite. It has actually made a difference. Listening to these songs helps keep my mind focused on the goodness of life, the goodness of God. It's hard to stay grumpy in the midst of such goodness and I can honestly say I feel happier already.
I have to admit, I'm crazy excited about this month. I know that these goals have the most potential to make a profound impact on not just my happiness, but my whole life. I'm on the brink of something awesome, you guys. I can feel it and I'm so glad you're here along for the ride.
If you had to make goals to improve your spiritual life, what would they be? How do you maintain your spiritual health on a regular basis? And does anyone else have tips for how they survive their crazy commutes? Let me know in the comments section!