“Joyful obedience?” . . . . Oh, please

I want to be happy.  And I have interpreted that to be happy means others are happy with me.  It’s been an external. What do I want?  Whatever you want me to want.

“Happiness” is a slippery word.  We all want it.  And yet it can seem so fleeting, so shallow, even selfish.  All I want is to be happy.  Joy may be a better word with deeper meaning; something that is at our core, that transcends the ephemeral nature of being merely “happy.”

Whichever word one uses, the more it is an external goal (instead of an internal truth) the more fleeting it will seem, and unattainable it will be.

Ha!  Easy for me to say.  Many things are easily said.  And they are not easily, readily, quickly internalized.  Maybe there is something to the phrase “faith comes by hearing” (cf Romans 10.17).  We hear, but we must also listen.

I’m working on listening, except it is something that cannot always be “commanded.”  Just like letting go. And I’m hearing some big letting-go stuff in my soul.  I’ve preached before that, at its root, the word obey means to listen (from “ob” – to; and “audire” – listen, hear).

Not sure I’m so good at that obeying stuff.  Yet.


About Victor Mansfield

I'm mid-fifties, left-handed, right-brained, father of two, on a journey of surrender. Also, I'm an Episcopal priest, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, Fletcher, NC.
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4 Responses to “Joyful obedience?” . . . . Oh, please

  1. Jim Charocopos says:

    I remember once, when I was going through a painful divorce, sitting at my therapist office, I said to him “all I want is to be happy”.
    This is what he said to me, and it has stuck with me for many, many years.
    He said, ” the best you could hope for in life is to have happy times”
    To think otherwise, is setting yourself for failure.
    I internalized these words and found that the disappointments I encountered in life were not as devastating anymore. I knew that happy times would return.

  2. 1bonnie says:

    I think that Romans quote ends with “hearing the word of Christ.”

    For me personally “joy” comes through those moments when that word is revealed to us through other people’s hearts in Christ. (I beseech you my brothers and sisters to have the heart and mind of Christ.)? They are moments fleeting but when recalled still make us smile. They make me let go of a lot of angst. Unless they don’t. :-).

    As to “happy.” I agree with the comment Jim Charocopos posted.

  3. 1bonnie says:

    Also, when I tried to log in, my email address was wrong. So, I had to go in and fix that and reset my password. ????

  4. “Joyful obedience? . . . . Oh, please | beyond the wild sabbatical” was indeed a excellent post.

    If perhaps it had even more images this would most likely be perhaps even better.

    All the best -Leonida

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