Thursday, April 24, 2014

SERMON: What’s the price of fulfilling your heart’s desire?

By DAVID BILDERBACK, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 1/24/2014

“Happiness is neither within us only, or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God,” read the daily calendar on my desk.

For sure, happiness is not inherent. Our happiness most often is based on our circumstances. The mood at work, for instance, typically is better Friday than Monday. Some things that can affect our happiness include financial woes, family problems or job-related issues. The loss of a loved one can completely change our lives overnight.  

“Happiness is neither within us only, or without us; it is the union of ourselves with God,” read the daily calendar on my desk.

For sure, happiness is not inherent. Our happiness most often is based on our circumstances. The mood at work, for instance, typically is better Friday than Monday. Some things that can affect our happiness include financial woes, family problems or job-related issues. The loss of a loved one can completely change our lives overnight.  

TV, magazines and other ads tell us that happiness is out there waiting for us. We are told happiness can be enhanced by staying young, being fit, being part of a crowd or treating ourselves to luxury. All these thing are made possible by some product to alter our body in some way or something that creates a sense of well being in our mind. The trouble with stimulation of any kind is that the affect wears off. Then we are left with reality. Reality can be a very harsh companion. Knowing we might never get what our heart’s desire is difficult to deal with.

In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon introduces this text by stating, “All is vanity.” In his lifetime, Solomon accumulated great wealth and possessions, as well as practicing self-indulgence, but he could find no lasting peace or rest. Most of us would say let me have the riches, power and wisdom of Solomon and I will be the judge of whether I am happy. That’s an option we can choose. The problem is that money causes us to worry, projects fade away, things rust and decay and our health dwindles.

Alexander the Great, perhaps the world’s greatest conqueror, died an alcoholic after conquering the entire known world at the age of 33. Alexander’s words were, “What shall I do now with no more new worlds to conquer?”

What conquered Alexander and other lesser men was the fact they filled their hearts with all their personal desires, but left their souls empty. You can’t fill your soul with things. The soul is where the moral and emotional nature of man resides. Until it finds peace and rest, it will be weary and restless.

That’s why Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Until man unites himself with God he will have no lasting happiness or peace.

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