Thursday, January 11, 2007

Learning to Live in Choices

I had a twinge of guilt because I still have doubts about what God is doing within me. I mean, it’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde inside me--Dr. Depression and Mr. Optimism cohabitate simultaneously within my mind and spirit. It seems that some days depression wakes me up, takes hold, and won’t let me go. Other days, optimism reigns without much thought. Most days, depression and optimism are like two sides of the same coin, they exist at the same time, come and go as they please, triggered by who knows what.

This life scenario caused me a moment of guilt during a praise chorus in church on December 31, 2006. Guilt for a moment, because the thought came to me that if faith really reigned in me then this doubt, frustration, depression wouldn’t be a day to day struggle.

Then I realized that this is life and living everyday is a choice. The ability to choose is present because the Holy Spirit is present. On days I struggle with depression, my depression doesn’t repel God. On days that confidence reigns, my confidence, contentment, cheeriness doesn’t draw God. He is present because of what Jesus did on my behalf. He has chosen me and because of that I have a choice.

My choice is not between depression and delight. There are events in life that the human response is delight or depression. Not to experience them is to live in denial of reality. In the midst of all things I can learn to live in His choiceful presence. He has chosen to be present in me, even in the doubting depression that disturbs me so deeply. I can learn to live in His love every moment of every day irrespective of the state of my emotions.

“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” The Message (Ro 8:38)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year's 2007

The expression is Happy New Year’s. It is our verbal blessing that we give to one another wishing each other a coming year of happiness.

Estela and I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness on Saturday afternoon. As the movie points out, happiness is a pursuit—maybe that’s why Mr. Jefferson wrote it that way in the Constitution because happiness is something to be pursued and not attained but for brief moments. Those moments, ever how brief, give us not only the reward for the pursuit but a taste of a delicacy that creates a hunger that encourages us to continue the pursuit.

Happiness is our blessing to one another at the beginning of a New Year. It is our encouragement to one another to pursue. It is our desire for one another to experience the reward of that pursuit, ever how brief it may be. It is our exhortation to one another to hunger for that happiness and continue the pursuit no matter how hard the pursuit may be. It is our hope that if we continue this pursuit we will be rewarded with that brief encounter with happiness and that it will be worth it all when we do attain that happiness, ever how brief it may be.

The difference that Christ makes in our lives is that we don’t have to live in unhappiness in between those brief encounters of happiness. In Christ, hope is the state of our being. Joy is our choice between the earthly rewards of happiness. So, . . .

Happy New Year’s and may it be filled with joy.