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Discovering Your Happy Place

If there was a place in the world where you can guarantee  that you would laugh more, feel more content, where happiness and positivity would be your companion more consistently than they are today.

Are you feeling, downcast, oppressed? Is it a struggle to remember the last time you smiled or laughed?

Would you want to discover where that place is and in discovering where that place is, would you move there? Or at least want to  learn from their way of life that would help us be more happy?

img39972-Iguazu-Falls-ParaguayBecause ‘they’ have found the most positive place on the planet, for real! This location is sunny, hot, its people are friendly, content and happy.  To live there does not cost a lot in terms of finances. It has history, ancient monuments beautiful vistas, incredible waterfalls, this place teams with life. It has earned itself the right to call itself the most positive place on the planet.

The most positive place on the planet is the small, beautiful landlocked nation of Paraguay scores and amazing 89/100 in terms of national feeling of positivity and well-being.

The Science Bit:

Let me explain how this has been defined. Questions were asked of people across the globe, simple and basic questions about their general state of well-being and happiness.

The Gallup poll asked such questions like, “did you feel well rested yesterday? Did you learn something it’s interesting or did you smile all laugh yesterday…”

The people of Paraguay are simply happy, their country is not wealthy by any standards, in fact is ranks 111 in global financial rankings a couple of points above Jamaica and next to the Ukraine. Paraguay finds itself 100 points behind the United States of America.

It’s economy is predominantly rural and focused around a mining, it is a fledgeling democracy having endured years of harsh dictatorships and 30-50% of its population are defined as poor.

Yet it’s people are predominantly happy, happier and more positive than its US neighbour in North America which is 10 points behind, the uk is 14 points less happy. Moreover the index tells us the next nine places after Paraguay that are the most positive, are filled with countries from south America.

These are countries that are predominantly Christian, (93%) and these are countries that remind us, that money does not bring happiness.

The Bible tells it to us over and over again, that material wealth does not, cannot, make us happy, earn us true love, or indeed eternal salvation. Lessons that these countries in South America seem to intrinsically understand, they have a wisdom about life that we do well to listen to.

What might we learn from these nations of positivity? I suggest you do that journey, dig deep into their culture and way of life, discover for yourself what it is that makes them tick. And then when you’ve found it, that nuggets of wisdom that offers you peace. Hold on to it, share it if you like, but hold on to it  and allow its light to change you.

 

Get Your Faith Lift Here!

Has your faith become sanitised, tame, lukewarm? Is church ‘run of the mill’, no more challenging than what you might pick for breakfast in the morning? The video below that reminds us otherwise; the sheer challenge of the gospel, the agony of the early mission leaders to choose Jesus every single time.

Today in ISIS held land Christians are facing the kind of hate these early missionaries experienced. And just see what God does with that. The story is based a long time ago, but it could be a story and narrative that happens today. Not in our comfortable, westernised lives perhaps, but where people live in fear from those who would have them killed for their faith, this story is real and relevant.

Be warned, the story in this video is not for the faith hearted!

Finally, what does your faith mean to you?  How far would you go?  What would you give up for the sake of the gospel?  As you listen to the words, the story alongside blows you away.

Offer Hope Not Criticism

There is a story of a man who killed himself, he was valued by so many yet he was his biggest critic. That self-criticism was his undoing, he believed utterly in that voice and chose to escape it. Leaving people shocked and confused.

I belief in an afterlife, that there is something more, other, liminal. I do not think we are the sum of our psychology, intellect or physicality. I do not believe as the church once did that if you end your own life you go to hell. 

When Jesus walked the earth, he vanquished that kind of consuming torment, he brought liberation and hope. So I wonder if for that poor soul who can only do one thing to escape themselves or their situation, whether that is to jump across the chasm  from this life. I believe they leap into a better place a, a space that Jesus prepares. Where torment is no more, and peace resides.

There are organisations that do amazing jobs with people who wish to end things, there are many successes, but possibly just as many tragedies. So today why not resolve to be the difference.

You don’t know who or what might be going on behind the backdrop of someones eyes, or  their    smile.  Behind those eyes, could be all kinds of darkness, self loathing and shame. Let us love our neighbour in such away that God might use us to vanquish the darkness, or walk the lonely journey with those who are trying to make sense of the question beginning with the word, why.

Finally if its you who is on the edge as it were. Know that you are known, you name your personhood is valued and has value, both in this life and the one to come. I pray that help will come. 

Last times Post: How To Pray Bruce Almighty Style

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