I felt joy for the first time in a VERY long time yesterday. Perhaps it was the fact that I worked from 7:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and then had the rest of the day off; or maybe it was the fact that the sun shone down on me, the sky was a beautiful blue, the grass and trees a deep green, and the sweet smell of lilacs were in the air as I walked home. (I love the smell of lilacs. I had a bunch of them below my bedroom window when I was growing up.) I’m sure the opportunity to spend the afternoon in my kitchen cooking a double batch of 13-Bean Ham Soup added to my delight (I love to cook), as did seeing the delight on my daughter’s face as I picked her up after her second AP exam of the day and she explained that she got the job she interviewed for yesterday (her first job interview and her first real paying job). But I think what topped it off was the music I was listening to on my iPod as I went for my daily walk. It’s difficult to remain joyless when you hear Keith Green singing Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful.
Sometimes life can be crummy, but there is so much joy in music. Sometimes life can be crummy, but you can feel God’s presence all around (especially in nature). Sometimes life can be crummy, but a day off of work can stop the overwhelming burden of responsibility and rekindle the joy and delight of spontaneity. As much as I long for more complex things, I am finding that it is the little things in life that make me the happiest.
What I am beginning to understand, is that there are numerous joy-stealers out there… people or events who will suck any sense of well-being right out of you if you let them. I am learning that sometimes it is best to savor the joy-filled moments and keep them to myself for awhile. That is the best way to let the joy seep down deep into the hurting crevices of my soul and, perhaps, wrap soft tendrils of healing within it. Sometimes it gives me the feeling that God is sharing a sweet little secret with me that no one else gets the privilege to know, unless I choose to divulge it; and the joy has worked its way down deep enough that even if one of those joy-stealers does come along to snatch it away, the healing has already begun.
This morning I woke up to a delivery man at my door bearing balloons and a box of 12 gigantic chocolate-dipped strawberries (an early Mother’s Day present). It didn’t take me long to pop one of those babies (the strawberries, not the balloons) in my mouth right quick and savor the flavor. I think that’s how I’m going to start living my life. Popping little bites of delightfulness into my soul as they show up at my door!
Splashing a little joy your way today…
Thank You, Father, for the divinely-dipped bites of delight You surprise us with every now and again. May they be rare enough to give us pleasure but bountiful enough to restore our hurting souls. When the time is right, help us to splash a little joy onto others whom You place in our path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.