I love to laugh. And while it is a rather fun song from Mary Poppins, it is certainly true in my life. I recently discovered that a child laughs over 300 times a day – but a 40 year old averages only 4. Why is it when we become adults that a scowl often replaces the smile and a smirk is exchanged for a glare? Could it be that we’ve stopped finding joy in the little things?
“But Nathan!” you exclaim, “you don’t understand the pressures I’m facing. Kids don’t have any worries and thus can be joyful all the time.”
It sounds like a sorry excuse to not live how Jesus commanded us: “do not worry” (Matthew 6.25-34). Or as Paul exhorts: “Rejoice always!” (Philippians 4.4 & 1 Thes. 5.16).
Could it be that our focus has shifted from Jesus and trusting Him to assuming we have to face life in our own strength? If we saw God as He truly is, why the need for worry? If we realized that He is providing all we need, wouldn’t we (like a child) lean into His embrace and trust Him, finding joy in even the small things He provides?
Maybe for you its not a trust issue, maybe it is because we are too hurried as a culture. We wake up and realize we are already late, fly through the day, get home exhausted … Just the thought of slowing down to smell the roses seems delightful but impractical with all that you need to do.
Can I give you a couple quick thoughts:
- God is never hurried or rushed
- God is never worried
- God takes great delight in the small things
Look at nature – I am continually blown away by the extravagance in the little things. I am a big fan of nature documentaries and while watching Planet Earth and other BBC nature shows (the best are the ones narrated by David Attenborough), I learned about a tiny bug that is nearly invisible to the naked eye but has the profound ability to jump high. Based on body size and how high this little bug can do back flips (seriously) it would be like you jumping over the Empire State Building in one leap! That’s a huge jump!
God finds immense joy in His creation. In Genesis 1 He called it “good.” Looking at the variety of creatures He made, I have to assume He was having fun and laughing while making monkeys, hippos, the ostrich, leafy seadragons, the star-nose mole, narwhals, the axolotl, platypus, and the sloth (just to name a few). It is hard to look at them without breaking into a smile.
A couple nights ago I was taking my puppy out for a walk when I looked over at a nearby field and saw hundreds of firebugs (fireflies) sparkling. It reminded me of a miniature fireworks show or a Christmas lights festival. It was exciting to watch and I couldn’t help but laugh with glee. Last night, after arriving home from church I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner when I opened my freezer and shouted with joy – there was a potpie still there (I didn’t think I had any left). I’m a big fan of potpies (despite how unhealthy they are) and seeing one totally made my evening.
I know, firebugs and potpies are odd things to get excited about, and while I am a bit random, I have found that the little things in life often create the biggest joys.
Have you watched children lately? They find tremendous joy in things that adults pass by or think foolish. Everything is a fun adventure to a child. And therefore they giggle and laugh all day long. Do you?
Do you slow down enough for God to open your eyes to His marvelous creation around you? Do you find yourself breaking out into streams of giggles and fits of laughter all throughout the day?
Perhaps you should write Proverbs 17.22 on a card today and memorize it:
A merry heart doeth good like medicine. (KJV)
A joyful heart is good medicine. (ESV)
A cheerful heart is a good medicine. (RSV)
Question: What gives you great joy, delight, and laughter? Give us your top 5 list of the little things that brings you joy. Leave a comment in the section below.