This week we consider sources of happiness.

To prepare, stop the world around you.

Breathe, be still, and feel God’s presence.

Invite God’s calm.

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The Lord proclaims: Cursed are those who trust in mere humans, who depend on human strength and turn their hearts from the Lord. They will be like a desert shrub that doesn’t know when relief comes. They will live in the parched places of the wilderness, in a barren land where no one survives.

Happy are those who trust in the Lord, who rely on the Lord. They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17:5-8

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Whom do you trust? I’ve spent too much time trusting myself. Maybe I’ve focused on the “you can do it” voices both around me and in my head. Clearly, trusting only ourselves and trusting in “mere humans” can be dangerous.

Early on I learned not to trust myself in the weight room. Once when my workout partner was late, I got started without a spotter. Although I knew better, I placed too much weight on the bar while bench pressing. Needless to say, everything that goes down does not come back up. There I was with several hundred pounds on my chest. A little painfully, I rolled the weight off my body to the floor.

In his song “Whom Shall I Fear,” Chris Tomlin reminds us just who is in our corner. “I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side.” Jeremiah shares that trusting the God of all creation should be a no brainer. This said, who is your “life” spotter?

Bill Ogletree

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God, in the day ahead, plant my roots of trust in you. Help me learn that nothing is too heavy for you – that with you all things are possible. Help me to trust you as my source of happiness. Amen.

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The Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, wrote:

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” (in Love and Living, 1965)

Go now and find happiness and God’s love in the community of others.

Bill Ogletree

Billy T. Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University. He is forever grateful for the love of his wife and two adult children and appreciates little more than living in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. Dr. Ogletree is the author of the 2018 book Mean Christianity: Finding Our Way Back to Christ’s Likeness, available through Wipf and Stock, Amazon, Kindle, and Audible.

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Ken Medema

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