‘Are you happy?’

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My eye was caught by two of the cutest stuffed giraffes of very huggable sizes too. Their affectionate hugging pose triggered thoughts of a very specific someone and led on to imaginations of having this delightful pair grace my eventual house and bring some of that warm, sunny, yellow joy of theirs into what I hope to be a haven for my family to-be. The only problem? They will set me back by a whopping $60.

That should have been warning enough to drop them and leave, but no, being the hard core negotiator that I am, I stood around long enough for the lady to deliver her sales pitch. Amongst other things, she mentioned that what’s important is that they make you happy, because happiness is, in her words, ‘very important’.

Strange. Only about half an hour ago, I’d been sitting in one of my favourite ice cream parlours with a scrummy cup of a sweet treat in front of me, waiting for my friends to return from their brief errands, when the question came,

“Ave, are you happy?”

Being King and Creator of the universe, let’s just say He’s pretty good at picking moments.

The kind of question I’ve never asked, because it’s a pointless question to me. I don’t make my decisions based on whether they make me happy or not. Happiness is a by-product that is great to have, but non-essential to decision-making. Whether something is good and right I find more crucial. And yet, it was the precise question required to burst my bubble of illusion.

For the first time in my life, I responded to the question of happiness with great solemnity, feeling the full weight of what was being asked.

“No, I’m not.”

I’m not because as of late, I’ve been looking to a whole myriad of things for my heart’s satisfaction, everything except that which is truly essential. Despite knowing better, I’d lost that life-giving connection with God.

It wasn’t too long ago (a little more than a month) when Abba clued me in to what’s happening with my soul. In Hangzhou He’d asked, “Ave, do you love me more than good things?” My honest answer then, was that they were coming close to His once undisputed place in my heart. And now, a month plus later, it seems all efforts at turning the tide have been unsuccessful.

So here’s my confession: I messed up, and once again, am in dire need of rescue. Thank Jesus I have another chance (and a few more to last the rest of my years) – his life, death and resurrection guarantees it.

The climb back into Papa’s lap begins, though for some who might know better, they’ll say I’d never really left.

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