Pause

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.

next >

Listen

That’s not true for the wicked! They are like dust that the wind blows away. And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice— neither will sinners in the assembly of the righteous. The Lord is intimately acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked is destroyed.

Psalm 1:4-6

next >

Think

Today's passage speaks of dust or, as it says in many other translations, chaff. Chaff is basically waste, the husk that surrounds a seed. It serves a protective purpose as the plant grows but is then cast aside, or at best, ground into animal feed. If you held chaff in your hand, your first thought would be that there isn’t much to it. It’s light and wispy. It's basically dust. There just isn’t any substance to chaff.

Today’s verses say that the ungodly are like dust or chaff. They lack the substance needed to stand among those who are righteous, those free from sin or guilt. I don’t know about you but I appreciate substance. If I find myself in a good wind, I want to use my weight to brace against it – to stand my ground. Physically and spiritually, I like being grounded.

What grounds you today? The chaff of others’ opinions and values or the firmness of a substantive faith? It appears that finding substance in your relationship with God is worth some effort.

Bill Ogletree

next >

Pray

God, ground me in a substantive relationship with you. Help me to find happiness in that relationship and to share my happiness with others. Amen.

next >

Go

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.

I Come to the Garden Alone

Ken Medema

about d365