This afternoon I find myself in a very depressed mood. Don’t get me wrong — I am very thankful for my life. I have every reason to be happy. Thankfulness is essential if you’re ever going to take hold of rest and contentment. But thankfulness and contentment don’t always mean you’re happy.
We have this stupid belief in America that if we’re not happy, we must not be “doing it right.” Life, I mean. Sometimes we really aren’t doing it right, and we are never doing anything completely right. But happiness is not a consistent measure of this. Oftentimes we do very good things that make us sad, or do very wrong things that make us happy.
I think that, more often than not, our feelings are overrated. That is not to say that they are useless or bad. They are important. But what I am saying is that we give them too much credit to dictate our lives. When we’re happy, it’s harder to challenge ourselves to love God and serve others more. And when we’re sad, it’s easy to become a little vacuum to try to suck life from any old source we can find.
And more often than not, moods don’t direct us to satisfying things. They are more related to how much sleep we got last night, or how many vegetables we had, or our genetic composition, than whether we are making upright choices in life. Moods are self-preserving mechanisms that try to persuade us to meet our own needs. If we let emotions control us, it can be dangerous and unhelpful, not only for the people around us, but ourselves as well.
Emotions are confusing, some say God is our lamp to navigate through our chaotic or dissatisfying lives.
I’m reminding myself today that I have everything I need already therefore i am fully equipped to fight the good fight.
When we’re unhappy, it’s easy to think, “Maybe I just need ____.” But when we run after anything in this world, it will always disappoint us.
When I considered all that I have accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I find I’m quite strong.
When I used to put puzzles together as a kid, I would get frustrated when pieces wouldn’t fit. To relieve my frustration, I would try using a hammer. Although this would force the pieces into place, these pieces were not made for each other, and I would find at the end that the picture was neither beautiful nor satisfying. I knew I would have to submit to the reality of the puzzle instead of merely relieving my frustration.
Yet I still find myself wanting it both ways. I want the puzzle to be complete and I want it done now. I want Jesus to be the head of my life and I want to be in control and have everything go my way. And I want to be happy all the time. I want Jesus to get the glory He deserves, and I want to steal a little for myself.
I am glad that the choices I make in my life are not the fatalistic result of my feelings at any given moment. I am free to make choices because of my consistent resolve to live to the fullest purposes.
Much Love Always,