Our 8-year-old son Kedar’s eyes danced with enthusiasm when he asked his father Kenya that question yesterday with a lilt in his voice.
Had his facial expression been captivated in a still photograph and captioned, one might have expected more fitting words to encapsulate the moment like, “Is it time to open the Christmas presents yet?”
My eldest son was all the way stoked, Daily Cup family, about the rock-n-roll show that is taking out the trash. With an added spring in his step, he glided across the floor and then skipped out the door with that white Hefty bag held over his shoulder.
The perfect soundtrack for this real life scene would have been “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the fictitious Mary Poppins, played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 musical film.
Both my husband and I shared a chuckle, pregnant with cynicism, fully expecting that one day, young Kedar’s joy will likely turn into dread.
“If only I could find a way to bottle that enthusiasm and preserve it for his teenage years when he’ll surely be less giddy about such mundane tasks…” I thought to myself.
I remember a time when our daughter, Kyla, now 13, used to beg to do the dishes. Immersing her tiny hands into the sudsy water was greatly amusing to her. With sheer joy and delight, her short fingers dipped plates and cups into the sink. Our oldest girl was more than happy to lend a helping hand back then.
These days, audible grunts have replaced eager requests to help when time comes to wash dishes and complete other related household chores.
Isn’t it funny how jaded we become as we get older?
Somewhere along the way, we lose our sprightliness, verve, and vitality. We stop seeing the wonderment in everyday life. We lose touch with our eagerness to serve. We no longer find satisfaction in helping others. We trade our passion for the little things for lamentation over not having the bigger things.
God doesn’t want us to live life that way.
But if we are not deliberate about cultivating our ability to see how spectacular the simple things can be, we are doomed to become overly pessimistic; perpetually restless; consistently unhappy; and permanently devoid of genuine appreciation for life.
Why not choose joy instead?
That doesn’t mean that you will necessarily dance a jig when time comes to empty the waste bin, or that you will always feel up to the tasks your daily life demands that you complete.
Choosing joy, however, does ensure that no matter where you are, what you’re doing, or what you’re facing, you will find a cause to be thankful and content. Above all else, choosing joy has everything to do with dwelling in the presence of God. Psalm 16:11 lets us know in God’s presence is “fulness of joy” and in His “right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
So if you’ve been feeling a little burnt out, weary from the struggles of life, or just sort of blah from the monotony of certain obligations, I’m stirring Acts 2:28 NIV into your cup of inspiration. It says, “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’”
When you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be reminded that all the joy you seek, need, want, and so desperately crave, is found in God’s presence alone. Though we may never be able to fully recapture our childlike joviality, the joy of the Lord is far and away better than anything else we could ever hope to have in this lifetime.
Choose to spend time in the presence of the Almighty King.
Now let’s pray.
God, life is full of complexities, struggles, and hardships. It is very easy to become blinded to the good when the bad is all around. But today, I am making a choice to pursue Your presence more passionately and persistently, so that my joy will be full and my life complete. Thank You for reminding me that You are all I will ever need to live abundantly, richly, and joyfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!