Daily Thought For March 20, 2018
The Search For True Joy & Freedom
I don't know what the rules are exactly today, but they used to have a rule at the state university where I served as a chaplain that you're not allowed to have someone of the opposite sex in your room for more than three days. After three days, you've got to change rooms. (Not a good practice for morality.)
Here are all these young adults with their first taste of what they think is "freedom." They can do anything they want. No parents there to watch and impose rules. The kids are away from their families, away from everything else and they think, "I can do anything I want!" I can get drunk every night. I can get high every night. I can have sex every night. I can do anything I want!" FREEDOM, right? And a lot of these kids go ahead and do anything they want.
One night I was walking through the campus and literally passed more than 100 kids. (Yes, I counted them.) Not one of them had a smile on their face. Can you imagine? You mean if you can get drunk every night, if you can get high, if you can have sex with anyone you want, you are not going to be happy? Yeah, that is what I'm saying. Isn't it amazing that when you and I start doing things that are against the will of God, all it does is make us emptier?
Everyone of us has a hole inside of our heart and we are constantly trying to fill it up. We think if we try to fill it up with this or fill it up with that (you fill in the blanks) we're going to be happy. But everything in this world is temporary.
...The only thing that will fill up our emptiness is something that is eternal. The only thing that's eternal is God and His love. So when you try to fill up the emptiness with other things, you're going to stay empty. You are going to be a slave. However, when you fill it up with the love of God, you're going to have peace and freedom because now you're not concerned about yourself. You are whole and fulfilled. Now you can be more concerned about others. Now you can live a life of generosity. This is the exact opposite of what the world tells us, but it is the truth. Everything against the will of God only leaves us empty and makes the hole inside of us bigger. That's why you have to do it, whatever it is, again, and again, and again. Then what happens is that you become slaves to these things. You have to keep doing them again, and again, and again. But Jesus said, Listen, you're a slave, but I've come to set you free!
from Surrender! — The Life-Changing Power of Doing God's Will by Fr. Larry Richards