December 13, 2016
I write a monthly column for our Church Newsletter. Below is the short essay I’m including for December.
I think I was about 5 years old…. It’s clearly one of my earliest memories, anyway. For Christmas, my parents got me one of those pedal cars. Do you know what I mean? Now days they are electric but back in 1959… well… It was a Fire Chiefs car. I know because it said “Fire Chief” right on the side! Was I excited? Um…. YEAH!! I remember being in our living room surrounded by boxes sitting inside my shiny, red car. It occurred to me that I was like a “real” driver. I had to negotiate my way around the boxes strewn about the room without hitting anything. The only problem was, I was in a tight spot. The boxes were randomly spread about and were very close to the “fire chief.” Honestly, I may have spent an hour in that room by myself slowly inching forward then backward. Turning the wheel first right and then left… backward… forward… backward… forward…
Eventually I pedaled my way out of the living room and into our dining room without touching one thing. I DID IT! No one else seemed to notice the herculean effort I had put in, but I did. I was a REAL driver!
I am not a fan of “tedious” things. I never have been. I despised “mechanical drawing” in high school for that very reason. Little straight lines over and over again. I’m not good at crafty things either. I have thought many times over the years about that hour in my little car. How could a 5 year old spend that much time going one inch and then another and then another? Then it occurred to me… JOY!
It’s remarkable… the things we can do when our hearts are filled with joy. Do you know what I mean? We can fly faster than a speeding bullet, be stronger than a locomotive and we can leap tall buildings with a single bound. Well okay maybe not those things, but you know what I mean, don’t you? When our hearts are immersed in pure joy, life is just different. We are different.
Here’s to praying for joy unspeakable for you and those most special to you during this Christmas season and into 2017.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.