Saturday, October 17, 2015

Joy in Simple Pleasures

Rain and terrible things were forecast for my penultimate morning with my folks. Yet, I awoke to blue skies and perfect autumn weather for my morning run. After an arduous uphill exertion, I ran along the top of Struble Dam, and shouted praises to God. No one was in sight, so I held my arms above my head, lifted my face to the morning sun, and trumpeted my allegiance to God. Thy will be done. Though thou slay me, yet will I trust thee.
No one was there to hear me but God Himself. I was delirious with the joy of that realization. I yelled my prayers, that echoed from the mountains surrounding me. If He had materialized at that moment, I would not have been surprised. He felt that real in that gorgeous place.
Next, returning to earth, I picked up my folks and we went to our favorite lunch place. Plate glass windows overlook the Susquehanna, and the diner chefs make an excellence spinach pie! I had bought my Mom a new sketchpad and watercolor markers. She wanted me to demonstrate their use, so I sketched the view. I was filled with the same simple ecstasy I had experienced atop Struble Dam. How grateful I am that God created me with the ability to draw.
After lunch, my folks and I sat in their Assisted Living Home sunroom, watching the sun sparkle on the nearby lake. Clouds scudded across the mountaintops. Fish poked their dark mouths to the surface, snatching bugs, and concentric waves radiated across the water.
We moved to a back porch, watching the growing clouds. Within a half hour, the clouds had suddenly enveloped the blue sky, and it was cold. We took a parting photo of the three of us, and scurried inside.
Shortly after that, I kissed my folks goodbye, and dashed to my car as rain began spattering across the pavement. In His infinite mercy, God had withheld the rain till my final day with my folks had come to an end.

This morning, I start my drive back home to NC. I am leaving just in time. Snow is forecast here in NY for this afternoon! Such simple pleasures I had enjoyed with my parents. How precious it is to be in the presence of loved ones with no agenda but to enjoy the beauty of the world God created in the company of each other.

On this trip, I met a woman who is hunched over and bitter. She snaps at everyone and no one likes her. Her neighbors are kind people, but they avoid this woman they call "the gnome." She sees no sunshine, no fish surfacing in placid waters, no clouds tumbling like gymnasts across blue skies. All she seems to see is bitter disappointment. I pray God touches that woman's heart and heals her.

May I glory in God's beneficence even when my heart is broken, and my spine is bent under a weight I feel I can no longer bear. May I always find joy in sun on my face, mountain leaves turning gold on the horizon, and clouds dancing in the sky. May I always exult in life's simple pleasures, praising God with every breath He so graciously grants me.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous and beautiful!! Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow!!