Thoughts on “A Culture of Sorrow”

Sometimes I have thoughts that I want to write down for now and for later, too. Usually they don’t really have a beginning or an ending, they’re just there. So bear with me while I work through them.

Currently, I’m reading the book What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey. I’m only on ~ page 30, but so far, so good. My parent’s Sunday School class studied this book a little while ago and Mom loaned it to me.

In one part, Yancey is asking people what came to mind when he said the words ‘evangelical Christian.’ Obviously, no one had anything positive to say. Heck, even my nose wrinkles up when I hear those words. He included this column from Erma Bombeck as a clue why:

In church the other Sunday I was intent on a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling. Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theatre off Broadway said, “Stop that grinning. You’re in church!” With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers….

Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if you’re not, then you better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us…. By tradition, one wears faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge.

What a fool, I thought. Here was a woman sitting next to the only light left in our civilization– the only hope, our only miracle– our only promise of infinity. If he couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?

So true! It reminded me of this post from Melissa at Living Proof. (Melissa is Beth Moore’s daughter and a recent school of theology grad. She’s got some good stuff to say!) She speaks about a “Culture of Sorrow” that we are currently living in. That it’s cooler or even more ‘real’ to be upset and depressed about life. Models, bands, everything around us says that we are not meant to be happy.

But that’s not the life that we are promised in Christ. Yes, there will be times when life, quite frankly just sucks, but we are to always know that ‘joy comes with the morning!’ God doesn’t desire for us to be unhappy. The exact opposite, in fact! And even when we do have hard times, our happiness, our joy, comes from God. No one else. Not even ourselves.

What a hard truth this is to learn. This is so telling of how much the devil/world pulls at us and tugs at us to turn us away from what is truly important. That we are “supposed to be” unhappy!

What a shame and what a load of crap!!

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