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by Jim Clark

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    Hundreds of years ago, the great theologian Augustine declared: “our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in thee.” One father discovered this truth in the strangest place — a McDonald’s restaurant.

    John Ortberg tells the story of taking his young children to McDonald’s. Every time they go there, the cry goes up, “I want a Happy Meal!” Usually John gives in to the pleas of his children and buys each child a “Happy Meal.” And they’re happy...at least for two minutes. In thinking about this mundane occurrence at a fast food restaurant, Ortberg muses over the source of happiness. “The problem with the Happy Meal,” he observes, “is that the Happy wears off. It’s an illusion. No child discovers lasting happiness in one.”

    Yet this same illusion captivates us adults. Ortberg explains: “When you get older, you don’t get any smarter; your Happy Meals just get more expensive.” Our culture bombards us with deceiving messages that our contentment is just a step away — a newer car, a bigger home, more money, maybe even a new spouse. But soon the contentment of these adult-sized “Happy Meals” fades and we long for another fix of “happiness.”

...soon the contentment fades and we long for another fix of “happiness.”
    The things of this world scream at us each day through television commercials, glossy ads in the Sunday paper, and the pressure of our peers — “Use me, buy me, eat me... — then you’ll be happy.” But as Ortberg reminds us, we live longer, work less and play more than ever in the history of the human race. But are we any happier?

    Consider this: the frustration in this life (including not always getting what we want) could actually be seen as a wonderful gift from God. He makes us dissatisfied with worldly pleasures so that we will hopefully pursue Him — where only true joy and lasting happiness can be found.

    Read thoughtfully and prayerfully these words from the Lord says in Isaiah:

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55:2-3, NIV)

    The next time you’re in a McDonald’s, let your visit remind you that lasting happiness is not found in a hamburger or anything or anyone else. Permanent, everlasting, and fulfilling joy is only found in an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. And so feast on Him all day as you think about His love, repent of your sins, humble yourself before the cross and ask Him to fill You with His soul-filling Holy Spirit. If you do, count on His promise that “your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”


Are you presently experiencing a new life? God’s word says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This new life is a free gift of God through faith Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about this life that only Jesus can give you, sign up for one of our Bible courses. Wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve done, you can begin again. You may also contact Jim Clark at jimclark@abilene.com if you have questions about becoming a new creation.

 
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      © 2002, Herald of Truth and Jim Clark, Hope for Life. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Jim Clark
      Publication Date: October 15, 2002


 
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