I'm preaching on Habakkuk at York Street Anglican during May. In Habakkuk 3:17-19, the Prophet claims:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.Impossible, right?
*No* blessing.at.all, and *yet* I am taken to the 'high places'? How is that for contentment?
So... I intend to make some random comments about contentment through May.
Here is the first one: How two good things can become one poisonous thing.
In our very very very very very very very very rich culture, we have choices. Options. And usually good options. Sometimes we are given the option of two (or more) great possibilities on the one issue: The choice of which dinner, which job, which house, which school, which partner, which church.
But instead of seeing them as they are (two great choices), we may deeply believe in our psyches that there is a best option -- one slightly better than the other. And that to get the not-best option would be detrimental in some way.
So we agonize over which car, which holiday destination, which restaurant, which route, which college. And when we choose the thing that we end up perceiving as the lesser of the two, even when we couldn't have known how things would work out, we get upset.
Advice then: Stop agonising over two great options. Take a joy pill. They are both good options. Tell yourself that. Either will work. Really they will.
And as to the future: you can't control outcomes anyway. So Relax. Be content. Choose away.
Take joy in God alone. Do not take joy in choosing the fig tree over the vines, the olive over the fields, the flock over the herd. According to Yahweh, you be utterly denied them all, and still rise the the heights of joy.
Reminds me of Jesus.
Pic on Flickr by Anyjazz65.