Psalm 34:8: “O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.”
|Happiness, 2013, taken by twitter.com/AndrewShayde|
So I’m sitting here, watching a British murder mystery (PD James, Devices and Desires) and looking at pictures of my weekend at the beach with my friends. I’m surrounding myself with images that bring me happiness (Yes, it’s true, British murder mysteries make me happy. But you know I’m not the only one). Yesterday I had a great spin class and today I had a good yoga class with a friend. Life is full of blessings. But tonight I’m still searching to try to feel happy in the midst of feeling a little bit of a funk. (and not being effective at blogging with a mystery on TV).
Watching TV is not the best solution to cheer me up, but it’s what I’m doing. I think there are frequently times we try to cheer ourselves up with the less-than-best choice, causing us to spend too much money, drink too much, watch too much TV, eat too much junk food. It is a completely human response to dissatisfaction or gloom, and so easy to do.
Reading Psalm 34, it sounds like the the writer has overcome some grief or depression and wants to share how God brings us out of gloom. Verse 4 reads “I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” I mentioned in another post that the psalms can express in poetic language our longings for the strength and healing that we do not yet have, or the reassurance that is not yet here. Not yet.
This psalm points us to a future we can hope for, when we find happiness in the Lord. I would hope that in my funk and gloom I would turn to God and find consolation by reading, or blogging (without distraction), or reaching out to a friend. Instead I surf the internet and watch drama on TV, staying up way past my bed time and wishing I’d made better choices. I don’t have a good ending to this blog. But I guess that’s how life is, and sometimes we’re just in a funk.
When I posted on Facebook that I didn’t know how to end this blog post and was thinking of not posting at all, a friend suggested ending with a cliff-hanger. I think that’s actually very appropriate here.
So we will leave our blog heroine in a British-TV-induced brain-numbed state (laughing now to Vicar of Dibley) and let her go to sleep for the night. Stay tuned until next time to find out what happens in her pursuit of happy and deep theological thought…
Gracious God, You are with us when we are in a funk and when we are happy. You love us when we do the noble thing and spend time in deep thought on spiritual things. You love us just as much when we watch too much TV or otherwise choose the easy out. You long to deliver us from our fears, even when we don’t know how to let you. Assure us of your presence in the long nights and in the brightest day. Thanks, and Amen.