Seeking Happiness


Tess Cassidy, college student


These days, happiness gets defined as a trip to Disney World or scoring the final goal to win a sports tournament. It is fulfilled only with manmade titles and objects—all hard to achieve or expensive.

This is not happiness. So often we hear the phrase, “Money can’t buy happiness,” yet daily we invest money into it. We believe the phrase but we don’t live it. No, we don’t know happiness at all.

Charitable distribution of mealSo what is true happiness? How can we get it?


As a servant, we are stripped down to nothing. Our status, clothes, and wealth becomes unrelatable. We are forced to invest our lives in others, forcing the best to be brought out in us.

In this state of nothing, Jesus shows he is everything. We are no longer self-centered or consumed by the outside world. Jesus is our happiness.

Not only does serving show Jesus is happiness, but serving is good in God’s eyes. In Mark 9:35, Jesus says, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Jesus doesn’t dance around it, he says we need to serve! And he’s not just saying he wants us to serve once a month, then check serving off our to-do list. He is asking for a commitment to serving: serving classmates, parents, friends, neighbors, community members, and our international community every day.

You know this is true if you have ever felt strangely happy while serving. You are stripped down to the level where Jesus can reach you. As a follower of Christ, we aim to be like him. This means we strive to be selfless. We need to be selflessly devoted to serving his children.

During the 30 Hour Famine, many groups go out and serve their local community. On an empty stomach, even more of our entitlement and comfort in earthly things is stripped away. The entire 30 hours of fasting is spent in service, really. We become—and feel—the very least as we give to our local and international communities. As our stomachs grow emptier, Jesus grows more abundant.

The beauty of the 30 Hour Famine is the way youth are transformed. Suddenly, through all this service, they realize they are connected to the children they raised money for. These children do not live in a different world that seems unreachable and unrelatable—they live a plane and car ride away. Those children’s hungry stomachs growl loud just like ours.

This epiphany, through my six years of doing the Famine, still never gets old. Service never gets old. The high of making a difference never gets old.

Yes, happiness is found in service. Be happy—go serve.