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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Turn off the noise...

1Blessed is the one 
who does not walk in step with the wicked 
or stand in the way that sinners take 
or sit in the company of mockers, 
2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord
and who meditates on his law day and night. 
3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, 
which yields its fruit in season 
and whose leaf does not wither— 
whatever they do prospers... From Psalm One 

With all its noises, the world is still a terribly lonely place for many. So many voices around us that say nothing to aid our sense of meaninglessness. We engage our antennae in search of a message that addresses the essential emptiness of our existence, and find only the dead air of an inarticulate void; the dreadful sound of silence. Searching those places where we store our usual encouragement, we find gray clouds…just hanging there. Sometimes it is hard to see the sun, difficult to find the light. And so some of us retreat in silence, into the grayness of an uncertain point of view, into the refuge of our crustacean comfort. We lock ourselves away in our proverbial shells. Others engage with the world around them in ways that are destructive. They "hook-up" with people and influences that eventually lead to their demise.

What is the secret to a happy life? How do we find the meaningfulness that will bring us the joy we long for? We have been told that "the way to be happy is to make others happy". We need to be careful about that piece of advice, because in it lies the risks of losing everything that makes you a viable person. It is not our job in life "to make others happy". Despite everything you have been told in this respect, it is important to understand that one's happiness is one's own responsibility. We find happiness when we find our true purpose for living. All of us are challenged to do everything we can to make our world better. Service is therefore the way to individual fulfillment. Opportunities to serve are everywhere around us... From the simplest tasks to the most complex occupations. Some tasks we get paid for, others we are rewarded for by a sense that we have done what is good and right in a given circumstance.

In the search for happiness there is wise counsel that must not be ignored. That wisdom is laid out in Psalm One.  Stay away from wicked people. Do not keep their company. Do not follow their advice. Do not sit where they sit. Do not walk where they walk. Don't think like them. Don't talk like them. Do not listen to them. There is a way that is about righteousness. Find that path and walk in it. Walk with those who trod therein. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not covet that which belongs to another. You can find all this in the Ten Commandments. Follow these and live. Scorn them and you will be "like the trash being blown around in the wind..."... Nothing you do shall prosper. Many are the voices that will try to convince you otherwise, but they are just a part of the clutter of a vain existence. These voices will be in your ears constantly... Take my advice ...turn off the noise. 

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