By Roger Kruse
Each of our lives is made up of innumerable pleasures that might be described as “simple joys”. For me, it often relates to the outdoors and God’s creation. I love to watch a hawk or an eagle cruising up high in the wind stream, gliding up and down without flapping a wing, buoyed up by the moving air. I glory in the springtime appearance of a yellow daffodil, or red tulip against the backdrop of a barren landscape. I love to plant a peach tree in my orchard or watch my vegetable seeds germinate, popping through the soil with fresh evidence of new life. I delight to watch the bluebirds making themselves at home again, or the swallows dive bombing the surface of a lake with joyful, reckless abandon. I treasure the sight of an Amish farmer plowing his field with a team of magnificent Belgian horses. Of course, simple joys can also be found in the country kitchen of my wife as well! The aroma of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies beckoning me to sample their warm, melted sweetness. I relish a morning mug of fresh ground coffee, just waiting to infuse me with new energy to start the day. Let’s not forget the antics and devoted snuggles of our dog, Benny, eliciting pure joy from my adoring daughter. Obviously, I could go on and on. But you get the point.
Simple joys are all around us just waiting to be acknowledged and savored.
Unfortunately, we all too easily get bogged down in the cares or worries of the day. Like blinders, our concerns block out the blessings and push aside the possibilities of a thankful heart. We need to be vigilant, guarding against a negative mindset. Too often we habitually see the inconveniences, shortcomings and failures in circumstances that may well be beyond our control. I encourage you to cultivate the habit of taking notice of every little gift that comes your way. The Bible tells us that “from the fullness of God’s grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
King Solomon was renowned for his knowledge and great wisdom. Yet, even he wrestled with an incomplete comprehension of life and the purposes of God. He pondered the mysteries of our earthly life, bemoaning the incongruities of our fallen world. In his frustration, he lamented the vanity or meaninglessness of such an existence. Yet he still found himself coming back to the simple pleasures of life. “I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.” To “find satisfaction in all his toil- this is the gift of God.” This is not an endorsement of careless, carefree living that embraces some kind of “party life”. Rather, it is an affirmation that the God who holds the mysteries of the vast universe in His hands, also created countless, smaller blessings for us to enjoy. God loves us. He bestows on us real joy in so many little ways. Don’t miss out on His gifts. Remember to take note of His telltale signature, His fingerprints upon everything He has made. A thankful heart is also a joyful heart. No coronavirus restriction, social distancing order or lockdown mandate can rob us from the simple pleasures that fill our days with joy!