Two simple truths it has taken me EXACTLY 25 years to realise:
1. When we live with our ‘self’ as the focus of our moment by moment efforts our happiness is dependant on our skill and luck at enabling our ‘self’ to experience pleasure.
2. When we live with ‘obedience to God’ as the focus of our moment by moment efforts our joy is dependant on the faithfulness of the God whom we seek to obey.
Let’s all face it though, it ain’t simple is it? My day is proof of that. I have spent almost the entire day feeling like I deserve to be having good experiences simply because it is my birthday. Like it is a divine annual right or something. What a load of bull!
I should have woken up with the thought, “I am going to kill any selfish inclinations today”. I preached that to my young people just eight days ago yet I find it so difficult to follow through. If I had had the “die to self” attitude from when I woke up I may not have had the most pleasurable day but at least I would have allowed God to build his Kingdom around me. And because God is good I believe he would have given me pleasurable experiences anyway. But that should not have been my solitary aim for the day.
I’m not gonna be totally pessimistic though – it’s only 5.13pm. Still a few hours to go…