Can we have a personal conversation, you and me? Let me ask you a question; does this time of year put you in a kind of dream-like funk, deejay´ vu, and time-warp kind of mood? OK you can continue the conversation or check out now and I want to hear from you to see if I am the only one that experiences this, ok? I was standing at the sink washing some chicken breasts that I was planning to bake and as I rubbed the cold, slippery meat I was looking out my kitchen window and noticed just a hint of a different slant of the sun which signals Fall and the changing of leaves. Suddenly I felt like if I couldn’t get out of my skin and go into the atmosphere that I could feel coming I would just explode. I spoke out loud to myself and wondered again if I could find that “time machine” that I have often talked about, you know the one, it takes you back to a happier time when your parents were young and held all the responsibility that is now ensconced firmly on your own two shoulders. Maybe it’s that Fall reminds us of the days when we were starting a new school year and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, books, mimeograph pictures that grammar school children get to color of turkeys and Pilgrims and new shoes that squeak when you walk and you dread the first skid marks on the toe of your white saddle oxfords, but I digress.
One thing we have to realize is that we can’t go forward if we are looking back, it’s like trying to drive forward while only looking in the rear-view mirror, chances are you will end up off the side of the road.
Nobody is happy all of the time, but some people are definitely more fulfilled than others. Studies on what makes people happy reveal that it doesn’t have much to do with material goods or high achievement; it seems to whittle down to your outlook on life, and the quality of your relationships with the people around you. How can we find this elusive emotion of happiness, or joy?
Psalm 16:9-11 “I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell— that’s not my destination! You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” I think I heard you say, “That’s well and good for you but I have done so many bad things in my lifetime, how can I ever be forgiven?” I suggest you read this scripture from Psalm 32:1″Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be— you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.” You can’t ask for better than a clean slate now can you?
Another scripture that gives all us sinners hope for a bright tomorrow is Lamentations 3:22-24 “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up, His mercies are created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.”
OK so I still look in the mirror and see the same old me, not the raven-haired girl of my youth, no time machine here, but I have the promise that life can still be good and productive and happy! Psalm 92:14 “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;”
After all, if I want to smell freshly sharpened pencils and chalk I can make a trip to Office Max and buy all the pens and pencils I want and won’t have to worry about my algebra homework! Life is good after all!