As part of an on-going effort to provide you, the reader, with perspectives on life-events, other than my own, today, I am featuring an article by the Rev. Jerry Long, my good friend, and Associate Minister of Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, SC. This article was written for SBC, by Jerry, for their monthly Senior Newsletter, Silver Lines. This article is being reprinted, with permission. I think that we will hear more from Jerry from time-to-time. Thank you Jerry, for being my friend, and also supporting my efforts to adhere to God’s wish for us…found in.. Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. …….
While on the recent 60+ Ministry trip to Gatlinburg, Lynne and I walked downtown to the shopping district. While Lynne visited the stores that are designed to separate a woman from her money, I did what any real man would do. I sat outside the stores on benches and rockers and kept her diet coke secure. At one store she took longer than even 40 years of history together seemed to warrant, so I checked my “man card” at the door and went inside to see if she was ok. Once I verified that she was still alive (“I’ve hit a jackpot” were her actual words of verification), as I started out of the store the placards section caught my attention. Looking around to see if any man sitting outside was watching me, I paused for a minute to see what was new in the arena of homespun wisdom. One placard in particular caught my attention. It said, “Don’t put the keys to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.”
As I made my way back to the rockers outside the store, I couldn’t get that phrase out of my mind. As I quickly evaluated my life I realized that many times I have put the keys to my happiness in someone else’s pocket by letting how they treated me determine what did and did not make me happy instead of taking charge of my own happiness.
And that’s when the Holy Spirit took charge of my thoughts. In effect He said, “Jerry, if you want to take charge of your own happiness, live your life by the Beatitudes.” Remembering that the word “blessed” also means “happy”, this is what I concluded. Instead of my happiness being dependent upon the accumulation of things or upon the way others treat me, I should take control of my happiness as I acknowledge my need for Christ, as I experience God’s comfort in the midst of life’s sorrows, as I humbly walk through life minus an entitlement mindset, as I hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness rather than for the thrill of sin, as I bestow mercy rather than judgment, as I seek to live a pure life and live at peace with others, and as I endure hardships with perseverance fueled by my faith.
Want to keep the keys to your own happiness in your own pockets? Beatitude living is a great way to start. ….Blessings, Jerry Long (Reprinted with permission…cjlb…10/18/14)