“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”
Are you quivering with joy?
Not even after looking at this photo?
(I didn’t think so, but a gal wants to know for certain before she proceeds.)
I had the opportunity to view a ‘joy wiggle’ today at recess – and it was over an imprint similar to the one in this photo. (I didn’t have the forethought to snap a photo of the actual indentation in question so you will have to make do for the sake of this argument with a random snap and use your imagination.)
It went something like this:
Little: “Wanna come see my fort?”
Little *grabbing my bright orange mitten with his small blue one*: “Come!”
Me: *breathlessly keeping pace with little* “Where is it?”
Little *gesturing excitedly with blue mitten* “Here!”
Me *confusedly searching for signs of a fort* : “Um, where-now?”
Little *exploding with pride and exhibiting the marked symptoms of a glorious joy wiggle*: “Here!”
Me to myself: I must need bifocals. Oh, wait. These are bifocals.
Also me to myself: That might be a slight indentation in the snow over there…
Little: “See? Here’s my fort!” as he plopped down in his miniature dip-mark-thingy and proceeded to sigh loudly and contentedly, while continuing to joy wiggle.
We had indeed arrived.
Little: “Lay down!”
Me: “Lay down? In the snow?”
Little *patting a likely spot with his blue mitten*: “Lay down!”
Me to myself: But if I lay down, I might not get up again…
And I think I missed the point.
He didn’t need much reason, you see.
The fort was neither large nor impressive. It didn’t boast an entrance. It wasn’t lined with bricks or cleverly constructed. It was just an indeterminate dip in the snow. When we left and later returned, I’m pretty sure he didn’t even recognize the original ‘structure’ – he just chose a new dent and gloried in it with as much enthusiasm as if he had just discovered the Taj Mahal.
He just chose to feel the joy of it, right to his bones.
And I missed it.
And I’m wondering now, hours later, reflecting in this experience, how much joy I miss while waiting for the ‘big moments’, when the simple fact is, it’s right in front of me the whole time.
Always be full of joy.
Well, that’s impossible. That’s preposterous. That’s an unreasonable expectation.
What if the expectation is that there is joy ahead in every moment – even the hard ones? What if I removed the biased lenses of cynicism and bitterness and chose to see every simple moment as a chance to seize something profound and beautiful and – joyous?
He didn’t need much reason – and he sure got bang for his buck.
Learn to seek joy in the everyday moments of life with me?
Father, how lovely to have the capacity for such deep enjoyment from something so ordinary. Open my eyes to the joy before me – and teach me to choose, to deliberately seek, joy. Amen.