Those who can see only what is happening at the present moment are prone to depression. We must develop our vision to look outside of ourselves and our private discouragements. If we have the eyes to see, there are wonderful things to hope for.
Zaccheus had a disadvantage; we have our own. He overcame his hindrance by the intensity of his interest; so can we. From this “wee little man,” then, we should learn to reach forward to God with a passion that will not be denied.
Anguish is simply an indication of unmet needs. In this world, even as Christians, we will have needs that are achingly unfulfilled. As long as we cry humbly and reverently, it is not wrong to cry honestly and deeply, “How long, O Lord, how long?”
What we call “happiness” is nothing compared to what really deserves that name, and it must surely be “exasperating” to our Father to see us hang on to our happiness so tightly and pay so little attention to treasures that are so much more precious.
We can do without happiness if we have to. It is not the “summum bonum” in life, the ultimate good. There is simply nothing in this life that we can’t do without. God is all we have to have. So things like happiness can be relinquished, if need be.
I like to think of hope as the active exercise of faith. It doesn’t mean never being in darkness or doubt. It means that in darkness or doubt we choose to look at the bigger picture, and based on the bigger picture, we decide to keep going forward.
As Solomon observed, that the “generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” C. S. Lewis said it differently, but no less truly, “Nothing that you have not given away will ever truly be your own.”
God’s instruction to us is, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Without a reverent stillness at the center of our hearts, joy cannot break through the noise of earthly life. Of all the killjoys in the world, irreverent busyness is the worst.
Those who pursue nothing higher than pleasure are missing out on real joy. We should set these words in stone: joy is the highest experience of the human heart. Pleasure, as good as it may be in its way, is a poor, unsatisfying substitute for joy.
Whether we’re “living in the past” or “daydreaming about the future” or we’re just too busy with trivia to savor the present moment, the end result is often the same: life gets away from us without our having thought about it as it went rushing by.