Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Ultimate Good

UV 2311/10000 The Ultimate Good
Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
Psalm 4 v 7
Happiness that increases and decreases like the Sensex with increase or decrease of income or wealth or pleasure is not joy but an emotional yoyo. Joy is an anchor that holds in still waters and stormy, in the shallows and on the high seas of life. It is the sail that catches the fair wind of the grace of God that the human race most needs, the mark of the helmsman, the visionary leader. Joy is the gladness of the heart that is dependent not on any human or earthly circumstance but hinges on our intimate covenant relationship with the Lord. Corn and wine in the uni-verse are metaphors for increase in worldly goods. These might satisfy our need for food and pleasure but do not satisfy the longing of the soul to be connected at the deepest level with our Creator and Redeemer.

The joy of our hearts is put there by the Lord. It is the sense of assurance, security, hope and compassion that grows in us as we grow in our knowledge of the love of Jesus, the length, the depth, the width of His agape or unconditional love. This sense of joy makes us want to always return to His presence, to spend more time learning and loving at His feet. The gladness of our hearts should never cease or decline. It fills us with Shalom or holistic peace, well being and confidence.

Our joy remains constant like a thermostat while our happiness might increase and decrease with changes in our environment much like the mercury levels in a thermometer. One of the ways to maintain our joy at optimum or maximum level is to continually thank and praise the Lord for what we know of Him, recalling all our blessings and His love, mercy and grace towards us all our lives. Such a habit will enable us to discipline our unruly emotions that make our faith wavering and toss it about like flotsam on the sea surface. Our success is not determined by the external goals we set for ourselves but the knowledge that the Lord is with us, in us and for us. This is the “summom bonum” or the ultimate good of our lives in which all other subsidiary goals and objectives cohere or get included.

Prateep V Philip

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