Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Happiness That Follows

Today I had the pleasure of teaching our adult Sunday School class.  I have to admit I was planning on doing something completely prosaic like, "Trusting God when you don't want to," or "Trusting God in the face of adversity," or...OK, you get the point.  It isn't so much that these aren't great topics, because in all actuality they are, and for those of us who wept Tuesday this was more in tuned to that reasoning.  BUT, in all of my ever increasing lack of time I failed to put something together.  Understandably so, it is most impossible to wing 50 minutes on a title alone...there must be substance!  SO, what did I do?

I put in a video.  The DVD set is on the 12 best small group studies of all time.  I'm not really sure who made that decision, which panel or board, or what not, but all I have to say is "know your audience!"  It worked though - this video we watched.  It was titled, "When I don't desire God."  Yeah, that's me.  It isn't that I set out to just not want him, its that I get so busy I forget about him.  There is a huge difference, the first one is a conscious decision to not chose him, the other is letting it slip your mind.  That is what I fall into.  I have found though, that when the busyness takes over he has a way of finding you.  Its in those small things like, a beautiful sunrise, a smile from your children, a random act of kindness, a happy chain of events, but also in those moments when life falls apart, when everything you've based yourself on comes crashing down at your feet, there, too, you find him.

And that leads me back to the lesson today.  The video, which was a bit long winded and the guy a bit academic, seriously his vocabulary was in the stratosphere, but the message was a simple one and one that had me thinking hard.  Really, hard.  However, without a teacher's guide I was stuck with winging it.  This is what I asked the class after the video:

What makes you happy?  Truly, happy?  A response from a lady was, "books, because I love to read."  So I asked, "if you were to have all your books taken away, your ability to see the written word, and your rights to read, would you still be happy?"  That's the just of it.  Would we still be happy?  It shouldn't be that we are happy when we have amassed all these earthly things, or great prestige, or rank, honor, personal glory, but that we should be truly, unabashedly happy in the lack of these things.  Why?  Because our joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

God created us for his glory.  Not so we could live in a certain zip code, drive certain cars, wear certain labels, hold certain jobs, but that we could love him and this life and be happy when it comes down to just that.  I'm not going to lie to you, I struggle here, where these thoughts intersect.  I'm human, I want my cake and to eat it too.  But to live in that mindset day after day is to miss the point.  Now, I'm not saying I'm anxiously awaiting a "Job moment" but in the past couple of weeks when the bottom has found its way to the top, so to speak, in my life, this is where I'm left.  Sitting, waiting, hoping, trusting...happy.

I'm not throwing a party and hanging up banners and streamers, I'm loving the one person who gave me life, who formed me in my mother's womb, (Psalm 139:13-16) who chose me, who knew me before I came to be, who hand selected me to be given to the people I was given to - my Lord and Savior.  I'm happy because I have him, and it is in having him that allows for the happiness that follows.

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