faithbook     A message for quiet meditation

by JAN FARROW, Lay Reader at Holy Epiphany



And still in your right mind!!

First of all I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If not, may I suggest this from Philippians 4 v4?

Rejoice in the lord always. I say it again, Rejoice.

Happiness is a strange thing, often elusive, or upon you suddenly for no reason at all. But I think it’s fair to say, none of us are completely, deliriously happy, all the time. Somewhere in my memory bank, I recall a "Peanuts" cartoon in which Lucy asks Charlie Brown, "Did you ever know anyone who was really happy........." Before she can finish the question, Snoopy comes dancing into the next frame. As only Snoopy can, he dances his merry way across the frames while Lucy and Charlie watch in amazement. In the last frame Lucy finishes her question, "Did you ever know anyone who was really happy ........................ and was still in their right mind?"

So what does it mean to rejoice, or rather, perhaps I should say, what does it mean to rejoice in the Lord, not now and again but always? I guess that means whether you feel like it or not, and let’s face it, we often don’t feel like rejoicing - well I don’t! Is there a difference between rejoicing and being happy? It’s difficult to rejoice and be miserable, but it must be very tiring to be happy all of the time, and people would undoubtedly question your sanity.

This is not the first time that Paul has urged the Philippians to be joyful - they obviously needed to hear it as do we. It’s so easy to become discouraged, life is not always a bed of roses. However, Paul is encouraging us to look at things from a different perspective. He is saying our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances, a bit like bless those who curse you, or bless the driver who pinches your parking spot.

Paul of course was speaking from experience. Ultimately, Joy comes from Jesus living in us, we being close to Him, that’s when ‘we are in our right mind’. With Jesus at our side we can face the future whatever it might bring. I pray that this year will bring you much rejoicing in the lord.