Hello dear friends ~
I have been pondering this post for a few days, excited to share one of my most favorite movies with you and hopefully some insights that have been beneficial to me. The movie is called, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.” It is loosely based upon the real true life story of Gladys Aylward. I’ve watched the movie at least a dozen times and have memorized some of the lines.
I have not read the book about her or watched the documentary, that is until yesterday. I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime and highly recommend it. She was a remarkable woman! She was born in 1902 and died in 1970, to my surprise I actually know someone who met her! I posted on my FB page yesterday that I had watched the documentary and liked the movie a friend of mine responded and told me she had met her in 1961! Amazing!!
Her story is one of courage, compassion and complete faith in God! So inspiring!!
“One happiness scatters a thousand sorrows”
According to traditional Chinese thought, the most important goals in life are the five happinesses – good luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness and wealth. These lie at the heart of all aspects of Chinese life and culture and are commonly depicted as various symbols or ideograms on everyday objects such as textiles, furniture, doors, ceramics and jewelry.
The sixth happiness as described in the movie is: “Each person must find out in his own heart what the sixth happiness is.”
The pondering question on my mind the past few days has been, what is my sixth happiness? I am not certain I can actually single it out or down to one thing. I find myself very passionate about sharing life and sharing love. My heart overflows with gratitude for the abundant blessings God has given to me. I am passionate about literature and learning. I often ache to write down my thoughts and as the words flow out of my mind its as if a damn has been breached and my heart races as I try to write down every word. Often the words do not feel as if they are just merely my words but that the words are being funneled, directed and/or lead to me to share. I believe that God through the workings of the Holy Spirit are placing things on my heart to say. I don’t wish or want to alienate anyone with my words. I’ve learned over the past couple of years that our words are very powerful and we must be careful how we use them. I am not point any fingers towards anyone in particular, I myself have spoken words that were in anger, even false based upon my own interpretation of things. The truth is, we all have said things we wish we had not because we are human. We are sinful and are in need of saving, saving from ourselves and the wickedness of this world, we need a Savior, we need Jesus. When we start looking at and learning from those mistakes, we are humbled and we strengthen our resolve to be better human beings tomorrow, than the ones we are today. Being a Christian is not easy and definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s not simply saying the right things that people want to hear, it’s saying the words and living them day after day. God did not promise perfect days, riches, good health or prosperity; He did promise to always be with us.
Matthew 28:20b, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I find most days difficult because there’s so much discourse happening around the world, in my country, in my state, in my city, in my neighborhood and even with my work environment. Discontent is being multiplied in every corner. People are afraid to speak their thoughts, feelings and opinions due to fear of retaliation or guilty of not being PC (Political correctness) enough. I feel at times surrounded by individuals who would rather blindly do or say what someone tells them to do instead of using their own brain and voice. We have politician promising things that will never come to fruition, at least in their lifetime, all for the sake of a few votes. Cable news shows attack other networks instead of presenting facts to help educate their viewers. I don’t care if your a democrat or a republican, a constitutionalist or a libertarian, it matters that you care about the country you represent and how you treat others. Mutual respect should be afforded to everyone. In a democracy such as the United States during elections there will be winners and losers, win graciously and accept defeat graciously. We vote every four years, if your party doesn’t win accept that we are all Americans and that we are free and that freedom came at a price. Life is ebb and flow, that includes government…as elected officials you serve the people (ALL PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES). We each are capable of doing great good or great harm.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say.” -Stephanie Lahart
I am sorry I got a bit political, I try to keep that stuff off my blog but it is increasingly becoming more and more difficult. I will definitely try and keep it to a minimum. My frustrations had reached a boiling point and I felt I had to share in order to stay authentic to myself and to my readers.
“…at 211 degrees, water is hot. at 212 degrees, it boils. and with boiling water, comes steam… and with steam, you can power a train. one degree. Applying one extra degree of temperature to water means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine.” -Sam Parker, 212 the extra degree
I am a Christian, not a shocker to anyone who knows me or follows my posts; I want to share another pressure point for me these days, Christians fighting and dividing humans into groups as if we are cattle off to market. A good reminder for all of us, pastors and congregations is that we are the created and the Creator is the final authority on all things. I have not been to seminary and the only authority I have is from God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I have attended church my whole life, raised in a Christian home, attended a Christian high school and college and the most important lesson I’ve ever learned from the Bible was spoken by Jesus and is in my opinion the foundation of all biblical teaching:
There you have it:
• Love God with all you are
• Love your neighbor as yourself
My One Word for 2020 is FAITH! I am seeking to live in and through my faith this year with intentionality. And, as I seek my sixth happiness I have a feeling it will include LOVE…giving, receiving and most importantly SHARING!
~Keep the Faith~ 2 Timothy 4:7