The Pursuit of Happiness

When these jewels are finally mine, this life, oh yes, will be divine!

The pursuit of happiness is slippery. But even more slippery is how we ought to think about it. Christian teaching on this topic ranges from one extreme of blacklisting it as “worldly” to the other of brazenly demanding it as a “right” owed us by God. Because of such variance, Christians often don’t know how to think about this topic—afraid that doing so is either sinful or selfish.

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Frequent Feasting

The ebb and flow now incidental to the Voice of the Wind which carries me on and satisfies my need.

Humans are wired to seek pleasure. This drive alone has forged the destinies of individuals and nations. Because of our capacity for pleasure we have seen this pursuit focused on a multitude of ends—ranging from base hedonism to noble causes. Yet, somehow even in the acquisition of our ends, we’re still left wanting even more. People spend their lives and fortunes ever pursuing this elusive yearning. Why is it so difficult to satisfy? Perhaps the best way forward is to question the very nature of this drive. Might this unrelenting craving actually be a sort of premonition that we were created for more than this world has to offer?

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Weather of the Heart

The ebb and flow is a fact of life. Away from it we cannot run.  We shall be tossed, we shall be thrown but our raft we choose.

December in Brussels averages only a little more than one hour of sunlight per day. The days are short and heavy clouds rule the sky most of the time. Many people emotionally suffer from the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Doctors have a name for this condition, they call it SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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The Mystery of Happiness

And still I cry, “Change me, change me, change me.”

I believe the vast majority of unhappiness and disillusionment among Christians can usually be traced to one common yet thoroughly un-interrogated assumption—happiness comes from getting what we want. While such logic seems sound it’s utterly contradictory to Christian faith because it lead us to think that Jesus is good for saving our souls but his blessings are needed for our happiness. In so doing, we separate the blessings of Christ from the person of Christ. Continue reading “The Mystery of Happiness”

The Transforming Fires of Disappointment

Then we will laugh and joyfully sing as we dance on the ground of this ruinous drawing.

Like it or not, disappointment plays an important role in our journey of faith. Our reaction to disappointment offers a window into the quality of our devotion to God. It reveals how committed we actually are while dispelling inaccurate ideas of a more unwavering faith. Unfortunately, in our zeal to follow Jesus we often profess a kind of surrender we really don’t yet know very much about. But how can we? This is the way of faith. Our growth is progressive. Continue reading “The Transforming Fires of Disappointment”

Acquiring a Taste for the Holy

Standing in the place of stillness . . . no other place I’d rather be.

The place of stillness is like a treasure in the rough. Sometimes it’s hidden in plain sight among the common and ordinary. And even when we find it, it may not seem so extraordinary at first. But this can change . . . if we are willing. Continue reading “Acquiring a Taste for the Holy”

Instruments of Hope

His music gave life and hope to the world.

Few things are more fulfilling than being an instrument of hope in the life of another. God is the master musician and when we allow him to play his music through us we release songs of hope to a broken world. However, just like the flute, we too can stifle God’s song when we refuse to deal with our brokenness within. For we cannot give out what we do not have. Nor can we attain what we need if we’re not first honest about what we lack. How exactly do we begin? Continue reading “Instruments of Hope”