For the better part of the summer, we have been having a pastoral conversation about what makes God happy. More specifically, as his children, how we can make making God happy our life’s defining mission and most passionate pursuit.
None of our nine happy places really are hard to understand and affirm. But my Lord, how often we fail and flail in the opposite direction. God likes his people to live in unity and community. It’s hard to argue that. We are taught to say thanks as toddlers, but often find gratitude choked out by contentment and coveting. God likes to be trusted and obeyed; we even have a hymn about that one. He gave us the ministry of reconciliation, yet poorly-handled conflict has often proven more damaging than the conflict itself. Learn what is good is good advice. We are called to be generous and faithful people in hopes of outliving our lives both on earth and in heaven.
Just a few minutes ago I sat with a family hours after the death of an aged husband and father. I heard story after life-story that made me smile. One I recall was how dad would wait up for the kids to get home, never failing to be sitting by the door if curfew was missed, even by a minute. It didn’t sound like he was being too hard on the boys; he just slept better knowing everybody made it home.
In Sunday’s final installment we will talk about the journeys that bring us to where God wants us to be. There is a handful of from and to stories of trips we need to make. The good news is that the father is waiting by the door of each destination to welcome us in. And like a dad on a Saturday night, he sits there ready to ask us where we’ve been and what took us long to get here. Knowing that his children are back close by makes any parent smile. Especially the one who art in heaven.