A few years ago as I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey Mountains, I will never forget an encounter I had with a young woman who said all she wanted was everyone to be happy as she handed me an orange. She was part of the new age hippie culture where everything is mystical and Mother Earth is the central focus. As I listened to her share her dreams and aspirations in life and what her role in it would be, I was struck by the level of human effort required to perform such a feat. My summation was a goal that Mother Earth and humanity would reward us with a chorus of human and natural adoration.
Don’t get me wrong I am enamored by nature; I am amazed at its ever changing splendor and the majesty of it. I love experiencing its serenity sitting against a tree with only the buzz of insects or the sound of a babbling brook. I too get captivated by it in a mystical sense. I also appreciate human affirmation. However, now when I encounter these pleasant moments almost on cue, I pray: “Thank You Father.”
When we want to be happy it is in a natural sense. Everything in its proper place and in harmony with no outside interference. Once this level of contentment, for young and old alike is attained, then this world will be a better place. We hear this chorus of goals spoken by many soothsayers throughout the world. We hear many different formulas to achieve this goal. When presented they sound like noble causes, ones that should inspire generations with everyone working towards the same goal: Peace on Earth. And, once that goal is attained, it is assumed that we will all be happy with what we receive.
There is only one problem, as individuals we always want more. It is in our nature, even as young children, we knew the rules set aside by our parents; “It is good to share,” for one.
Really! If my memory serves me, it felt like I was forced to share. Then as I got older I was reminded to share. Now I do it, but it has to be intentional. Another thing I have noticed is that the closer I get to God, I want to give and not share.
But for the world at large what do we do when no one is looking? Whom do we call on during times of desperation? How do we satisfy that lust for more when it feels like that is the only cure for the torment between our ears?
What will we do to keep the peace, not around us but inside of us. The problem with happy is that it is an outside job. Our goals is to acquire in the hopes that we will be satisfied. We have heard stories upon stories of those who have had it all and were miserable. They were led to believe that once they got to some mystical point of success then all their dreams would come true and….. drum roll please……You will be happy!!
But what is happy and whom does it serve?
At that point what is your guiding force?
My buddy Oswald Chambers put it very clearly in “My Utmost For His Highest” on Jan 4th.
“Natural devotion will deny Jesus, always falling short of what it means to truly follow Him.”
As predicted by Jesus, there is an overwhelming effort to force a choice between natural desires over devotion to Him.
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. —John 6:66 (Notice the verse and Chapter)
You can’t make this stuff up!!!!!!!
Happy is the devil’s red herring leading to a never ending list of demands all designed to keep you hungry for more. “Show us one more sign, then we will believe.”
But when Jesus said to those who believe in eternal life,
“Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you.” John 6:53
It was at this point that many could not accept this teaching from Jesus and many turned and walked away from Him. Jesus even went so far and asked them:
“Does this offend you? Then what will happen if you see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before? John 6:61-62
Whenever I read: His disciples went back and walked with Him no more, I picture slouched shoulders of people who are unhappy walking away disappointed.
This is the point where Jesus changed it into an inside job.
Up to that point they were all in, everything that was said made their walk on earth filled with purpose, miracles, signs and wonders. Yippie!!!! That was until Jesus asked them to move up one more rung of the ladder. You know that point where you are no longer comfortable and it takes courage and faith in the ladder to move up one more.
That my friends has to be the key you give God to your heart. Faith in Him above all else.
Regardless if you are happy with your circumstance or not.
You may have to wrestle in front of God to take that step. “People want the blessing of God, but they will not stand the thing that goes straight to the quick” Dec. 19th My Utmost For His Highest
Natural devotion may be enough to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His irresistible charm, but it will never make us disciples. Jan 4th My Utmost For His Highest.
Happy is temporary only Joy satisfies.
Joy is a continuing journey where happy has an illusion of an ending point where there will be never ending peace. Are we supposed to be in a catatonic state of euphoria?
Joy is a state of amazement and contentment on a continuing journey, always refreshed.
Happy is like a sugar high that you eventually fall from.
So are you sure you want to be happy or joyous and free?
When I want to be happy I hold the key and when I am joyous God has the key.
Who is holding your key?
I love you all and there is nothing you can do about it.