A short little giggle and then another. Soon the small boy is caught up in a full-blown laugh attack and a sparkle reflects in the wetness of his eyes. But these are tears of joy and laughter, not of sorrow or pain.
I witnessed this revealing display of joy while on a youth mission/work camp many, many years ago in central Washington, but the memory is still sharp in my mind. The young boy’s pure and simple joy was based on an attitude of gratitude. He had absolutely nothing by this world’s standards and yet he laughed so hard his side hurt. And all for having thrown a small rock into the air and having it fall on his head instead of in his hands.
This little boy knew such joy because he had gratitude. The author Max Lucado describes gratitude as being “more aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple – a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common – a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt.”
Every November with its Thanksgiving holiday season reinforces this idea for me – that what is really important are not the material things of life, but rather good health, friends and family, especially an extended church family-of-faith! How grateful we should be to know that God doesn’t want us to do life alone, but rather has planned for us to do this life together, to have folks who will both laugh with us and cry with us.
If you are anything like me, swimming in a sea of commercialism with its constant bombardment of advertising trying to convince me there’s yet one more thing I can’t live without, then you too need to be reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words from Scripture in the great chapter of Philippians 4: “I have learned to be content with whatever I have.”
Let us fight against the tyranny of “More!” and instead relish in the comfort of the common and what is truly important – each other. So please plan on coming together for the Enumclaw Centennial Community Thanksgiving Service at 6:30 p.m. at the Enumclaw Expo Center fieldhouse. This will be a wonderful time of being together as a community and deepening our gratitude and joy.
I bid you peace.