You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
Everyone is looking for a way to get to a beautiful place and find joy.
Children are to find something interesting to play with. Students are to aim for a good school. Adults want a decent job, a good boss and to come up with creative ideas or even some blue ocean strategy. In an era of turbulence and uncertainty, people are halfway to success when they’re on the right track, but they have to pay more if they choose the wrong path. Life is not easy with the changes in the social environment. It seems like our society is advancing, and the economy is developing. However, people are spending more time looking for their path or making life better. We may not admit that we need a way out, but the desire to find pleasure has never decreased.
Jesus has told the Parable of the Great Banquet, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for dinner, the host sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yokes of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ So, the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.'” We have all tried to find the way to achieve life goals with our efforts but have missed the fortunes that were meant for us and have lost the greater blessings. However, for the poor, those who can’t enjoy life due to poverty or disability received happiness from God’s invitation.
In the parable, the initially invited are the Jews, and the new guests are the Gentiles. In our world, those on the list are Christians, and those invited on the street are non-Christians. Generations of some Christian families have forgotten their original intention to follow the Lord and are lost in the abundance of grace. Many had to risk their lives, leave their family and friends, and pay a lot for their faith to believe in Jesus. There’s an old saying in Taiwanese describing the loss of the original faith in the rich grace of Christians, “First-generation is the clear-minded, second is the well-known, third is the foggy, and the fourth is the never bother.”
Where is the happiness that everyone wants to find? Maybe it takes all our strength and a lot of pain to find out that joy is simple. It’s easier to follow God’s will with a pure heart than being driven by a selfish desire. It’s better to rest in God’s blessings than chasing the pride of owning money. May we all find satisfying joy and eternal pleasure in the presence of God.