Life, Liberty and Striving in the Pursuit of Happiness

I find myself frozen this morning as the luxury of a day without plans confounds me. Today I have no commitments, no appointments, no car and no preplanned set of “to-do’s”. There’s no doubt that this is a luxury. I’m not complaining! This is the type of day many of you, no doubt, long for! As is my habit, I sat down to write a list for the day. And the freeze began: list for the day, or list for the week, or multiple lists for different categories? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! My scattered thoughts reminded me of a conversation my mom and I had recently which can be summed up with the following conclusion: endless opportunities = multiplied stress.

Wait a minute, aren’t endless opportunities one of the luxuries of modern day life in a first world country? We can google anything: learn, pursue, purchase, find, make new contacts, renew old contacts, be inspired, be entertained, etc.. Talk about having a life with the liberty for the pursuit of happiness! Yep, pursuits can be very satisfying. So what does pursuing opportunities have to do with multiplied stress? I think it might have to do with the rolling over the line from pursuing to striving.

Will my list(s) of to-do’s be have-to’s, ought-to’s or want-to’s? Will my lists have a God given balance of for-me’s and for-others’? Better yet, will my lists be for-Him? Will my lists help me to have focus and relieve me from the stress of mental chaos or will my lists be tools given over to the enemy to shame me and wear me out?

To strive, or not to strive–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of the driven life
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
by opposing them to the end

Okay, now I’ve rolled over the line into offending all who love Shakespeare! I think I’ll return to my list making. Happy for the opportunity. Not daunted by a¬†compulsion to strive.


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