You may not be old enough
to remember a little book,
or a series of cartoon that
all began with the phrase,
They were drawn by artist,
Charles Schultz, and had
some of my favorite childhood
characters on them... Peanuts.
There was this boy named
Charlie Brown who had
the cutest dog, Snoopy.
Seems Snoopy was a bit brighter
than good ol' Charlie Brown, but
it was all ok with me.
Then Charlie had his friends,
Linus, Lucy and Pig Pen.
Linus was the one with the blanket.
Lucy was mean as heck, but
once in a while we'd see her soft side.
And then poor little Pig Pen...
did that kid ever take a bath?
We never saw their parents,
only heard them, and I truly hope
that I never sounded like that
to my kids, but fear we all do
at some point.
But I had this little book called...
Happiness is a Warm Puppy.
It wasn't a book about puppies.
Rather, each page just had
one simple sentiment which
likened happiness to something
a child might understand.
sleeping in your own bed.
knowing how to tie your shoes.
All of them leading up to...
a warm puppy.
And it was such a nice message
to remind us, even as children,
that the simplest things in life
could bring us happiness.
And while I believe God is
certainly ok with us keeping life simple
and seeking happiness,
I don't know that happiness is the
highest thing on His priority list for us.
Simply because I don't find
Jesus teaching a whole lot about
seeking happiness in life.
Rather, He seemed more concerned
with teaching us love and
how to love one another.
And He came to show us,
and to demonstrate that love for us,
But He really couldn't have shown
or expressed Himself any other way,
because 1 John 4:8 tells us...
God is love.
Jesus didn't know how else
to live, other than through love.
He loved us first, so that we
could know what love is, and
pass it on to others in our life.
But so many times in life
I've gotten overwhelmed with verses
about love, as if it's this "To Do List,"
that I will NEVER accomplish.
I mean, when I read 1 Corinthians 13,
I can't seem to get past, Love is patient.
If I'm meant to master any of these
"To Do's" of love,
I'm in a heap-o-trouble.
But something clicked with me
one day, and this book on happiness
kind of reminds me...
keep it simple.
This list of attributes on love is
not a To Do list meant
to overwhelm me.
Or you, for that matter.
None of us could ever master it
in this lifetime, if that were true.
We are fragile, frail and flawed humans
incapable of perfect love.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't
understand and recognize
what love is.
Jesus came teaching it.
And since He IS love,
we can literally substitute
HIS name into each description
of love given us in the love chapter,
to better understand Him
and how He can help us in life.
God is patient;
God is kind.
God isn’t envious,
God doesn’t boast,
God doesn't brag,
God doesn't strut about.
There’s no arrogance in God's love;
God is never rude,
God is never crude,
God is never indecent,
God is not self-absorbed.
God isn’t easily upset.
God doesn’t tally wrongs
God doesn't celebrate injustice;
but God celebrates truth... yes,
truth, is God’s delight!
God puts up with anything and
everything that comes along;
God hopes, and
God endures no matter what.
God will never become obsolete.
God never fails
Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I love that list when I read it
describing my God!
It gives me so much hope.
When I read it as a To Do list,
I get overwhelmed.
But when I realize that it's a
description of Him and His perfection...
of how He loves us and all He wants
to do in, and through us, then
my spirit is completely lifted
rather than crushed.
Read it again... slowly, line by line.
It's life giving!
Happiness may be, for some,
a warm puppy.
But our God is LOVE!
And that means so very much to me.
He is a good GOD who wisely
gives good gifts to His children.
Let us receive them
living in the abundance of His love;
learning to love others
because He first loved us.
Word of God
train me today...
To realize the boundless way You love me.
To be open to let You love others through me,
a vessel wholly give to serve and to give.
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