One of the things I am noticing more and more is how many people seem to have the "blues". Sad, depressed, down - the blues - whatever you want to call it they have it.
I have been blue before and honestly it stinks. The best thing about the blues is looking back after they are gone! What I am encountering currently is a kind of down mood swing among the general population. People moaning about the bad economy, moaning about politics, moaning about their jobs, moaning about their marriages, moaning about the weather, moaning about church life, moaning about their kids, moaning about their parents - the list goes on and on.
There is a famous quote of Alex de Tocqueville after he visited America and spent time with us back in the 1800's - he noted "a strange melancholy that haunts the inhabitants...in the midst of abundance." His observation seems accurate for today's "melancholy" mood.
We have so much - so many "things" - all of which promised to make us happy and yet we still have the blues! When the global economic crisis hit back in 2008 a string of tragic suicides made the news - most of these people were wealthy people who had lost their wealth and their status with the collapse in the world markets. They were riding high and then when the money was gone they thought their life was gone - one was the chief financial officer at Freddie Mac, another the CEO of one of the largest US Real Estate Firms, one was a French money manager who had invested 2 billion dollars of his clients money with Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, another was an officer in one of the countries largest banks, another was an executive from Bear Stearn's who lost his job - the list of powerful people whose world came crashing down all around them.
One thing I have discovered about the joy of "things" -- it is temporary. A new car soon has scratches, dents, high mileage, and the new smell is gone. A bigger house, new shoes, the latest tech gadget, a 50 inch flat screen T.V. - all these new "things" promise to bring us joy and for a time they do -- but only for a while.
All of us are searching for something deeper, I think. Something that will not rust, break, lose it's newness.
Paul had this amazing attitude about his life: he said he had learned to be content (at peace, happy, joyful) in whatever circumstance. (Philippians 4:11-13) The strength to live that way came from the Lord. There is something to this.
I know people who have lost jobs, had to uproot their families and move, start new careers, leave retirement for the work force again and they are very content and joyful people. They do not whine and moan about these challenges they have faced - they dig in and live life with purpose and meaning and joy.
I am praying that you will find this kind of joy - the kind that will help you shake the blues and sing a new tune. The kind of joy that does not disappear when life tumbles in.
"The joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)
Just thinking, Steve