PLEASURES FOREVERMORE

If you love baseball and grew up playing Little League ball, and you decided to pursue it as a profession, then the pinnacle for you would be to play in the Major Leagues.

If you love hockey and want to play it at the professional level, then the pinnacle for you would be the NHL; if basketball, the pinnacle would be the NBA; if football it would be the NFL, etc. etc.

In the end, it is possible that one of our greatest sins will not be failure, but low aim?

Might that not be one of the reasons why our objective(s) when it comes to any profession or, for that matter, anything we seek to accomplish in life should always be the “Pinnacle”, the “Summit” to aim as hight as we can, to go as far as it is possible for us to go?

How about “relationships” say with a spouse, a girl friend or your relationship with your sons and/or daughters?

If your chosen path is politics, would it be with your electorate, your donors?

In business, would it be with your employees or if an employee, would it be with a boss?

Of course, these are all “worthy” relationships which we are all challenged to develop in ways which Glorify the giver of the LIFE we have that makes all these relationships possible in the first place.

But, are they “Pinnacle” relationships? Is there one more relationship out there for us.….one which, like for every person who has attempted to climb Mt. Everest, it is the top or for the man who is climbing the corporate ladder, it is the CEO or Chairman of the Board?

Here again, are we aiming too low? In truth, we are.

The “Ultimate”, the “Pinnacle“of relationships is with a person who, when we see Him, He is standing in front of us with His arms outstretched saying:

“Come to me and I will give your body and your soul rest. Come to me, because your eyes have not seen, your ears have not heard, nor can you begin to comprehend all that I have planned for you if you will just come to me and love Me and allow Me to love you.” (Matthew 11:29 & 30; 1 Cor. 2:9)

Oh, and there is more.

Behavioral scientists tell us that there are only two reasons why we do anything we do and those would be the anticipation of gain and the fear of loss.

For most of us, in the “gain” part of those two motivations would be the desire for happiness. But even here, “happiness” is not the “pinnacle”. And why is that? It is because our circumstances, our experiences are the source of “happiness”. In fact the etymology, the origins of the word itself is the word “happenstance”. And we know that if the root causes of our “happiness” are our experiences, our circumstances, we know they change, that they are temporary.

What then should be and is the “Pinnacle” of happiness? It is “joy”. And it is a “joy” that comes only as a result of our pursuit of the the “Pinnacle” of all relationships.

In his book, FULFILLING GOD’S KINGDOM ON EARTH, author Dallas Willard has these words about “Joy”.

“Joy is a positive outlook of hopefulness based upon a pervasive, overall sense of well-being.

Joy, like love, has a “feeling” component that is pleasant yet it is NOT a ‘feeling’

Joy is a positive attitude towards life that assumes that good will be supported and eventually triumph over any apparent obstacle.

Joy is fully compatible with the experiences of pain, disappointment, or sorrow, because joyfulness always takes a wider view of circumstances and works with hope to expect that good will prevail.

Joy enables patience, faithfulness to commitments, and the all-important ability to defer instant gratification.

Joy gives one the ability to say no, or perhaps a very firm “not yet,” to the immediacy of desire. Both responses are evidence of joy’s ability to overcome the tyranny of the urgent, since one is joyful with the present state of affairs, whatever they may be.“

Oh, there is more.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, in Chapter 15, verse 13, prays this prayer for them and consequently for us that:

….the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

In His last prayer before He was crucified, our Lord and Savior asked His Father the following for us:

“Now Father I come to You, and I ask You that those you have given me, that they may know you and that My joy may be fulfilled in them.” (John 17)

And in Psalm 16, the Psalmist blesses us with these words:

“You Lord, will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; and at Your right hand are “pleasures forevermore”.

When it comes to the “Pinnacle” of relationships, you can’t “aim” any higher

than this.

OH! REALLY? Hmm….