That’s my impression from my stroll down the main drag of Gatlinburg, TN, recently.
- Few people smiling or laughing.
- Harsh words being spoken to others, especially to children and other family members.
- One woman spewing out foul language because she has pulled into a blocked street and folks are not “parting the Red Sea” for her to back out onto Parkway.
- Impatience on display.
- Many store clerks looking like their job is a misery to their soul.
- T-shirts declaring the woe-filled and proud hearts of so many.
All this and more in one of the vacation capitols of America!
This is supposed to be “the happy place!” Right?
But, this is the case almost everywhere you go today. Why?
1. Man tries to fill his empty, eternal soul with temporal, earthly things. There is nothing in the world that will ever completely satisfy mankind. There may be momentary satisfaction, but it leaves a desire for more or something else.
In the midst of all this unhappiness, I saw new attractions, new restaurants, a gazillion moonshine stores (Isn’t that what brings great joy, so we’re told????), new stores, new products on the shelves, etc. This should make people happy, full of joy, right?
2. Man without a personal relationship with Christ does not have the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:19-24)
As my wife and I strolled up and back down Parkway, our hearts were saddened and grieved by the thousands who are choosing to live this way without the Prince of Peace, The Joy of Jesus, the Savior of our souls.
May I encourage you to read the three links given in the last sentence above?
When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds in the field, his first words were “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). That “great joy” was the truth that the God who had seemed far off had come to them in human flesh. He was to be called “Immanuel,” which means “God with us” (Isaiah 9:6–7; Matthew 1:23). Those who saw Him saw the face of God (John 14:9). He had come to rescue, to save, to heal, and to make mankind right with God (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:17–21). That was cause for great joy! (gotquestions.org/joy-to-the-world)
The only cure for a mad, mad world is the Gospel! The Good News!!
(Photo from trekearth.com)