If you have ever been to Disney, then this picture will bring back memories. Fireworks and celebrations are entertaining; they bring happiness. Which naturally raises the question: What does it take to make you happy enough to be thankful for your happiness? Here is the story of two men; one thankful, one introspective, but which one will REALLY be happy in the long run?
Luke 18:9-14 (WEB)
9) He spoke also this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others.
10) “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector.
11) The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12) I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’
13) But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The one who humbled himself before God will ultimately be the happier one! Paradoxical isn't it. Yet, God can turn sorrow into joy and that is the best kind of happiness I know. Today is my birthday; I have already received cards, e-mails, facebook messages and well wishes. The day didn't start out very good, as my arthritis made my night not-so-good, but when I look at all the blessings of the day, that seems very unimportant indeed. Most of all it has been humbling, knowing that so many people care about me. If there are so many blessings in this world, then I can only wonder at the next. I'll find out later, Jesus will show me... eventually!!!