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St. Francis and Happiness

As many of you know, I've been on crutches over the past few weeks with a broken foot- as an active guy, it's been a real challenge to have to sit day after day with very little exercise. I never realized how much being a musician is predicated on being able to carry things, walk, and generally do physical work. (I guess us musicians are a lot closer to manual labor than we'd like to admit.)

When we're not fulfilling who we were meant to be as a person, how in the world can we be happy? I'll be honest- I've been pretty depressed over the past few weeks. I've seen how much my job defines me as a person over the past few weeks, and it's a little frightening to see how closely tied my happiness is to how much I accomplish in a day.

One of my friends recommended that I read a great book about St. Francis of Assisi, and several things have really struck me about St. Francis life, and what I can learn from it:

• He cared deeply about the simple things

• We should all strive toward placing our value not in material possessions or power, but relationships and principles

• We are loved passionately (St. Francis believed by God), and we should live with that same passion

What struck me the most about St. Francis' life was how the principles that he followed led to true, genuine happiness. I've read dozens of biographies about philosophers, poets, artists, and great men, but St. Francis is the first person I've ever thought was truly happy, despite having a difficult, ailment-ridden life.

During the days of inactivity over the past weeks, I've realized at a deeper level of how flawed an individual I am, how badly in need of renewal and redemption I am, and that I'm also miles from achieving that elusive state of genuine happiness. But I was again reminded of the path I'm on- that happiness and self-fulfillment is just a byproduct of genuine love. All great truly things in life are.

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First Impressions

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