Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happiness in All the Wrong Places

How long have you lived - twenty years? thirty? forty? sixty? ninety? or somewhere inbetween? Think about the changes that have happened in the world since you came on the scene.

Yesterday I got an email that asked 20 questions about various "back in the day" happenings. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking about changes you can remember: new gadgets, new technology, new ideas, etc.

In my lifetime television has gone from B & W to digital and a gazillion channels on cable. In my lifetime telephones have morphed into something that goes in your pocket and goes everywhere with you. In my lifetime machines that filled a huge room and took a long time to process and spit out information now sit on my desk and even travel around with me and pull information off the worldwide web even while I sleep - computers and specifically laptop computers. In my lifetime coffee doesn't just come in black or with cream and sugar; coffee comes in caramel machiato, latte, cappuccino and more. And the list goes on..............

So, then, my friend - why are so many people so mad and so sad when there are so many "good" things available to us all? Could it be that all these "things" that make life so easy and interesting also play into the darkness residing and hiding in our own hearts? Ever since the Garden of Eden male and female types have wanted what they could not have but still craved. Adam and Eve fell into that trap and we do we!

We want easy, "happy" and nice! We want "positive energy" and thoughts. We want "to do it my way." In two words, we want....we want...we want!

AND that's the problem! When we focus inward and make the lists by which we measure life on what we want or think we need - on the "toys" that we think we can't live without - then we're headed down the yellow brick road to unhappiness! It's a heart problem!

It's okay to have a laptop, a flat screen digital tv hooked to cable, an ipod or Wii or whatever is on your list. It is not the stuff or lack of stuff that makes for real happiness, contentment and peace! It is the condition of our hearts! Inward focus is the road to unhappiness and even despair! Outward focus on others and their needs and how we can reach out to make a difference in the little patch of earth where we live that makes for lasting happiness, contentment and peace.

That's why Jesus came. He came to show us the Way! He spend His entire life focusing outward. He hung around with people who were broken physically, mentally and spiritually and He made all the difference! Eventually he died on a cross outside Jerusalem, lay in a borrowed grave for three days and then returned to live forever - all because His focus was all about me and you! That's what the Bible calls the Gospel and it's totally good news for a world of lonely people searching for happiness in all the wrong places.

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