Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Place

My number 17 favorite movie of all-time is Happy Gilmore. This movie stars Adam Sandler who plays Happy Gilmore, a former hockey player who is incapable of controlling his anger so he resorts to playing golf in order to save his grandmother's house from bank foreclosure. Get it? I hate when that happens....anyway. There is a point in the movie where Happy is struggling with his putting game so his coach, Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers), forces him to play mini-golf but, or course, Happy can't control his anger so Chubbs convinces him to find his "happy place". This is the point where Happy imagines a place where his on-screen love interest, Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen), is carrying two pitchers of beer while clad in skimpy lingerie, his helpless grandmother is hitting the jackpot on a slot machine, and a midget is riding a tricycle. I'm not sure how happy this place would make me or anyone else but the point here is that this was Happy Gilmore's Happy Place. Now it's time for me to Jesus this thing up a little.

God isn't a mere man. He can't lie.
He isn't a human being. He doesn't change his mind.
He speaks, and then he acts.
He makes a promise, and then he keeps it.
- Numbers 23:19 (NIV)

My Happy Place, spiritually speaking, is anytime that I can step aside from my God-less routine and life-driven complacency to revisit the points in my walk with God where I was most happy, most on fire, most eager to win the world to the Kingdom of God.

II Kings 4:8-37 tells the story of a woman from the town of Shunem. You can read it here. Here's the gist of it. This woman decides to build a room for the Prophet Elisha because he passed by her house so often. This room becomes a seed.

This labor intensive activity of building a room for the man OF God becomes her worship of and offering TO God.

In return, Elisha promised this childless woman that she would have a son, a promise that excited her but one that she also didn't initially believe. Her husband was old and she had never had the children she must have wanted so this was a big word for her. Fast forward a year, she has a son. Move ahead 10-15 more years, this son; her dream and her promise, DIES unexpectedly in her arms. This distraught woman takes her dead son into Elisha's room; the room that she built as a seed and lays him on the bed. She then heads out to find Elisha, who returns and is used by God to bring life back into the dead child. It's a really beautiful story if you have a minute to read it.

What do you do with your promise when it seems like time has ran out? What do you do when it's clear that your dream is broken, busted and will never come to pass?

To me, the most relevant part of this story isn't how God uses Elisha to speak life back into this boy's lifeless body...

but rather how she knew exactly what to do with her dead, lifeless, broken dream....

She knew to return to her Happy Place.

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