Farmville Enterprise July 5, 2017
With graduation season having ended and summer weddings in full swing I am reminded of how easy it is to get excited planning for the future but to forget to live fully during the times in between the major milestones. Looking at advertising it is difficult not to get sucked into the idea that we will be truly happy only when we attain certain things. We will be super satisfied when our bodies are bathing-suit-ready. We will be accomplished when we graduate. We will be joyous when we successfully embark upon the perfect career. We will be fulfilled when we meet “the right one.” We will live in almost constant elation when we become parents. We will feel that we have hit the jackpot when we own a perfectly-decorated house in a nice neighborhood and drive a cool vehicle. We will have attained it all when our bank account reaches a certain level. Especially for people with Type A personalities who like to map out life, it is tempting to check off the boxes in order to reach some nebulous state of fulfillment which is always just out of reach.
Christians who exhibit consistent joy live in a state of thankfulness and expectation of how God will work almost each and every day. They see value in the mundane times as well as the mountaintop days; they see opportunities for growth and gratitude through the ups and downs. Of course, it is fine for us to anticipate eagerly the vacations, graduations, weddings, births, baptisms, holidays, and celebrations. We should not, however, fail to recognize the importance of and possibilities for each day.
Michael Card, theologian and songwriter, penned words of advice to his children in a song called “Sunrise of Your Smile.” It begins with some appropriate words. “Reject the worldly lie that says that life lies always up ahead. Let power go before control becomes a crust around your soul. Escape the hunger to possess and soul-diminishing success. This world is full of narrow lives. I pray by grace your smile survives.”
We can smile each day knowing that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is at work in and through us and others, even on the days that seem utterly unnoteworthy. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)