I was just browsing through some of my notes I have posted on facebook & came across this post from earlier this year that I shared when I was reading a particular book. Wow. It just hit me ten-fold again. It is just SO true & SO needed for us to all hear & be reminded of. And meant to truly change us. Reminders aren't meant to put a thought into our head. They are meant to be a thought that is meant to become an action. Something that we never forget.
When you believe in God, but pursue happiness at any cost.by Staci Severin Landis on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 2:04pm
(An excerpt from Craig Groeschel's book: Christian Atheist)
When our happiness is based on the things of this world:
Last night I was watching TV, and I discovered that I can't be happy without an Ab-Cruncher, a 110-pc knife set, and a blanket with holes in it so I can put my arms through it. Now I know why I've been so miserable. I've been innocently going through life wondering what was missing. This whole time it was a Snuggie.
Usually, without our knowing it, our pursuit of happiness through stuff is doomed to fail because it is based on a lie. Our actions confirm that a disturbing number of us truly believe this equation: better possessions + peaceful circumstances + thrilling experiences + the right relationships + the perfect appearance = happiness.
Many of us live as if we honestly belive this phony formula. Even if we deny it with our mouths, the way we spend our time, money, and thoughts leaves little doubt.
Our culture has conditioned us to believe that the things we don't have are the things that will make us happy--never mind that many of those things didn't even exist five years ago. We blindly chase whatever is newer, shinier, or faster.
We crave peaceful circumstances. If we don't like a job, a boss, a salary, or a co-worker, we move on. If a college class is too difficult, we drop it. If a commitment takes too much time or effort, we abandon it.
When we aren't chasing peace, we're looking for thrills. It could be our favorite hobby, sport, vacation or weekend high. When one thrill fades, it's time to pursue the next one, whatever the cost.
Or it's our looks. If we looked a little better, everything would be better. Thinner, taller, stronger--and no option is off the table. Diets, surgery, drugs, tanning beds are simply tools we use to make us look perfect--to make us happy.
When we believe the things of this world will provide happiness, we're settling for counterfeit. My wife sent me to the grocery store by myself once, which is a dangerous thing. When I walked through the automatic doors, I saw a large container of crab dip for only $4.99. Sensing a bargain, I quickly snatched two. After returning home & trying my prize, I spit it out before swallowing. The crab meat was an imitation.
God hates it when we pass up on the real life and settle for the false promises of this world.
(Later in the chapter)
Max Lucado told a story about a fish in his book When God whispers your name. My version is slightly different. Let's start with a question: do you think a fish would be happy on a sandy beach? The obvious answer is, of course not. The fish's little gills would be slapping in & out like hands clapping, his body flopping end to end like a crazed acrobat.
Imagine we give our fish friend $100,000 in cold, hard, tax-free cash. Do you think Fishy would be happy now? Can you picture him still flapping & flopping? Suppose we give him a cold Corona & a Playfish magazine. Again, Fish would not be happy. No matter what we give the fish on the beach, it won't satisfy him. There's nothing that could make that fish happy on the beach--because he isn't made for the beach. The sand is not his home. Anything apart from the water will leave him wanting for the place for which he was created.
The same is true of us. We are not happy with the things of this world because we're not made for this world! We are strangers, foreigners on earth. We are made to dwell forever with our Lord in heaven. (Phil 3:20) we will never discover lasting happiness in the temporary things of this world because we weren't made to live a temporary life. That's why we should lower our expectations of this place.
Earth is not heaven. It was never meant to be. That's why no amount of money, new house, new living room furniture, new kitchen appliances, new clothes, new hair, new baby, new vacation, new job, new income, new husband, or new ANYTHING will ever satisfy us, because we were not made for the things of this world.
Psalm 97:12 says, "May all who are godly be happy in the Lord & praise his holy name!". Real happiness is found only in the Lord, and when we find it we'll understand, perhaps for the first time, how blessed we really are.