The Cure for Selfish Ambition and Restless Devotion

The cure for selfish ambition and restless devotion to The Next Big Thing is contentment.  But like happiness, excellence and drive, contentment is not something you can just generate from within.  It has to have an object.  There must be someone or something that is so satisfying that we can sing “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also.”

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 123

We Can’t Invent or Reinvent Ourselves

We forget that we can’t be happy by looking for happiness; we can’t be successful by aiming at success; we can’t be passionate by trying to be more passionate.  We need someone other than ourselves to love, desire and trust.  We can’t invent or reinvent ourselves.  We do not choose our own nature from a supermarket of unlimited options.  That is a fable we keep telling oursevles as we fly with waxen wings toward the sun.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 103

If You Are Always Looking for an Impact, Legacy and Success…

We do not find success by trying to be successful or happiness by trying to be happy.  Rather, we find these things by attending to the skills, habits, and – to be honest – the often dull routines that make us even modestly successful at anything.  If you are always looking for an impact, a legacy, and success, you will not take the time to care for the things that matter.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 57

Happiness, Above All Else? Really?

Most everyone would say what they want more than anything else is to be happy.  We’re convinced that the path to happiness means saying yes to ourselves.  Indulgence is the path to happiness, so to deny ourselves seems to go in the opposite direction of what will make us happy.  The right to pursue happiness seems to be in direct conflict with the call to deny.

– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 149

The Joy of Learning to be Satisfied in Jesus

Learning to be satisfied in Jesus will free you to enjoy everything else.  Being fulfilled in Christ means that you no longer depend on other things for life and happiness.  That means you can enjoy them, because you are no longer enslaved by them.  The prospect of losing them doesn’t terrorize you.  And you can say “no” to them when they are not God’s will.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 84

Our Dreams are a Window into our Theology

Our dreams are a window into our theology.  We are a proud people, the inheritors of the American Dream – the pursuit of happiness is our inalienable right.  Like bratty, self-involved little kids, we push past the Giver to grab for the gift.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 153

The Funeral is the Prelude to the Unending Wedding Reception

Apart from God’s grace, the gravity of our sin never reaches above the level of shame and our happiness never crosses the threshold of momentary pleasure.  Christ’s kingdom, however, is full of mirth, because of the joy of forgiveness.  The funeral is prelude to the unending wedding reception.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 214

Answering the Question “How Can I Be Happy?”

To be sure, we spend a lot of time on ourselves, but it is usually on imporiving ourselves in various ways rather than on evaluating our loves in a serious and big picture kind of way.  We often assume that the question, “How can I be happy?” can be successfully answered without reference to the love of God and our neighbors.  And the irony is that if our biggest question is our own happiness, we can never know the God in whom we find our ultimate joy and rest.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 45