Old books intrigue me. I like the way their textured covers and bindings, their musty old smell, and their brittle and worn feel. I like the yellowed pages and the old type-set. If my eye catches a stack, I must peruse the titles to find the hidden treasures.
Old books speak to me, I wonder what potential wisdom they hold. I love words: deep words, rich words, truthful words. And sometimes it’s the older books that come power-packed and ready to hit me hard.
When an old book peaks my interest and the price is right, I snag it. One of my recent finds was a small brown book written in 1942 by Frank E. Burkhalter, who worked as a publicity director for the Southern Baptist Convention in 1919.
Standing in the library in front of the shelf of discarded books, I opened my new-found treasure, Living Abundantly, and skimmed the first few pages. I was thrilled as my eyes passed over these two paragraphs:
“If you should ask Christians you know if they wished for God’s best in their lives, the invariable response would be an emphatic “I do.” But if you should inquire of them if they are experiencing God’s best, the number of sincere, positive replies would be few.
Why are there so few radiantly happy Christians in proportion to the total number of professed disciples in the world? While numerous reasons might be offered, all the more fundamental ones would center around the fact that the average Christian is unwilling to pay the price of highest joy. This average Christian is still under the delusion that he can serve two masters; he prefers the husks of an indifferent life to the solid, satisfying food enjoyed by him who lives the abundant life; and he has not yet attained that growth in spiritual stature where he is willing to substitute God’s will in his life for his own.”
This is a thought I’ve been rolling around in my brain a lot. Why are so few professing Christ-followers radiantly happy? I’d venture to say that they’re not even normal happy. They are often completely unhappy.
I realize that happiness is not our first aim as disciples, but shouldn’t it be evidence of our overflowing joy?
As you go into this week, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what it is that is keeping you from highest joy. What’s joy going to cost you? You can’t serve two masters.
Choose who you will serve. Radiant happiness awaits you. Even on Monday.