Temporary Happiness to a Momentary Manager
As you confidently walk down the streets of New York City, it's easy to spot. Women dressed in the latest styles, carrying the most expensive bags and, inadvertently, scuffing their Jimmy Choos on the unforgiving sidewalks. Men speeding in their Maserati’s heading toward their SoHo loft to entertain a new, inspiring group every night. On the surface, New Yorkers are full of arrogance. On the surface, they own their lives and make decisions based on the need of control. They are rich in money, obsessive over material goods and ultimate competitors.
And aren’t we all?
When I moved here, it became apparent my need to control my life. If I control the way I look at work, people will take me seriously. If I work really hard now, I’ll be rich like them someday. I’ll be able to pay off my student loans in full; I’ll be able to afford fun things in life: clothes, shoes, home décor! In 10 years, my apartment will look like an Anthropologie magazine. And because of all of these things, my life will be perfect. I will be satisfied and happy. But happiness isn’t joy and honestly? I need to get over myself.
All of these toys in life bring temporary happiness
to a momentary manager.
They are here today, yes, but gone tomorrow for sure. Trends change fast. Life changes fast and we cannot manage every detail. We do not have the capacity to truly manage ANY single detail because material riches are not ours. We should “put out hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy: 17b).
There are 8.4 million people living in New York alone. If just a portion of those people embraced the notion that God can provide true joy in their lives, that the control is not up to them and that our riches are born from the spirit, what would the city become? The riches of the Kingdom would be felt instantly as we manage and stumble down the road that God has already set before us.
And as we stumble down this road, our intentions should be
extravagantly generous: with our time, our money and our goodness.
As God loads goodness onto us, we have the opportunity to share it with the people of our communities. A simple sharing of kindness and love can be a shower from God in someone else’s eyes. Tithe. Donate time and energy. Notice when someone is struggling, empathize and help: that mother with the stroller trying to get up the subway stairs, that homeless person on the street, the co-worker having a tough week, a friend making a difficult decision, the poor and the powerless.
In order to reach these people, we must trust that God is working his Kingdom through our humility to bring joy to others. We must trust that we are not the owners here.
As Christians, we should keep each other accountable to bless our communities. And through these works, we experience the Kingdom of God, all the while knowing that the greatest riches come through Him.
Submitted by Alex Bernath, Midtown Parish Member