Tuesday, June 30, 2009


At small group tonight we discussed joy:

"I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy." ~ Jesus (John 17:13)

The Westminster Catechism states that "The chief end [purpose] of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." John Piper in Desiring God modifies this, "The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying him forever.

But what is Joy? Is it surface level happiness or perhaps a deep soul routed contentment? I'm not sure. Is it an emotion or a feeling or something else? I don't know. I know that I would like to be joyful but I think of joy a bit like I think of 'balance' a mythical place or state like Atlantis. That would be a nice place for everyone to visit but its pretty hard to find. But the Bible promises it:

"I pray that God, the source of hope, WILL fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you WILL overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." ~ Romans 15:13

It is impossible on my own strength to be joyful. If my hope is in my family, my friends, my job, my money, in anything other then Jesus I will only ever experience counterfeit joy. Now its simple for me to write these things but my heart is screaming, 'easier said then done.' How can I experience joy in the midst of such colossal pain? How can I experience hope when I am constantly reminded of how corrupted our world is? Its hard...

One of the Old Testament prophets, Habakkuk wrote:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of
my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
~ Habakkuk 3:17-19

I think for me, often my hope is not in Christ and my strength is not in the Sovereign Lord but in justice. I would like my family to acknowledge the hurt and the pain they have measured out to me in such generous portions. I hope that one day there will be reconciliation but today, today I want them to hurt and suffer like I have. In forgiving my family I fore go vengefulness, not justice (if this was an angle I could pursue I would), and for me forgiveness is not a once off action but a process. Everyday I have to make a decision, a choice "Will I forgive today? Do I surrender my vengeance?" Today...? Not so much - and the status of my joy...? Not so good.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Drugs & The Spanish Inquisition

It has been about six years since I was first prescribed anti-depressants. I have only had a few months drug free in those six years since. Five of those years I have been on a high dose and any missed tablets have a fairly severe impact on my emotional stability.

I would like to get off them - but I am afraid. I am afraid of not being able to cope, of going crazy, of falling into a complete heap and never being able to get up and get on with life. I am afraid of the damage I could do to my precious friends and I am afraid of the physical side affects of decreasing my dosage.

So I work hard at 'playing happy'. I try to maintain a positive outlook on life and to help others put their circumstances in perspective. But really, honestly, I feel like I'm just 'playing happy'. I get so incredibly tired of being the voice of positivity when inside I am probably the biggest cynic I know. I get tired of putting on a mask of humour and laughing at life. I hear the voice of my parental units in my head saying to me, 'Don't take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself.' But...am I just a well practiced fraud, deceiver, con?

Don't we live in a society that is so incredibly superficial that when someone asks how you are you answer with the pat response, 'Fine thanks.' even if your world is crumbling into pieces? I know I've lied many a time when someone has asked me that. Or if you answer truthfully, the inquisitor is suddenly no longer so inquisitive.