If you’ve ever watched children at play, you soon discover that some of their most enjoyable toys are the ordinary – the average – the lids off pots and pans – the cardboard box that once housed your new washing machine. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we lose the ability to find pleasure in ordinary things. We get caught up in the world view of what our enjoyment should consist of.
We live in a time of plenty. Many families have more than one vehicle, nice clothes to wear, electronics of all kinds and more than decent housing, but we are also a nation of people who are never satisfied with what we have. We want more. MORE!
There’s a mental disorder referred to as Narcissistic Personality Disorder – a term used to describe someone who is more concerned with himself than others to the point of being obsessive over it. In my day we called that being selfish. In Jesus day, He called it wrong. He told His followers to put others first. What happened to that wonderful Golden Rule?
Sometimes I think we become so consumed with our own needs that we forget to look at what we already have. In other words, we forget to enjoy the ordinary. I remember some of my fondest moments of raising my children as occurring in the most unusual ways. The memories that stick out had nothing to do with what we were wearing or what we were amusing ourselves with, but with the everyday stuff that made us smile – the goofy things that happened which turned into memorable events.
At the time they may have not been so terrific, but if we can look back and find some measure of joy in them, they were worth even the temporary difficulty of the moment.
When your child spray paints the dog blue – you naturally go into panic mode – but 30 years from now it will become a recollection you can laugh at. When your son greets you at the front door with a twenty foot snake, you learn to keep calm, but faint when he leaves. When your family doesn’t like your homemade cream puffs and it erupts into an all out food fight, you can’t help but laugh. We have become too serious in our pursuit of happiness. It’s already at our fingertips if we just open our eyes. Our lives can be full of an abundance of joy in adversity.
II Corinthians 8:2 “for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.”