Last night I had the extreme pleasure of babysitting a one year old little boy. He was remarkably well behaved, not even crying once during our entire few hours together. He loved to bang on the piano and was particularly impressed by a stuffed animal monkey I have that is motion activated to laugh and roll around on the floor.
What most struck me about my time with him was when his parents got back to my apartment to pick him up. When they arrived, he was thoroughly engrossed in “Inspector Gadget” (who knew they were still airing this cartoon?) so he didn’t notice them walk in. However, when he did catch a glimpse of them, all thoughts of the television were completely gone and he literally SCREAMED with delight, causing his binky to go flying from his mouth and his hands to shoot up in the air.
I don’t remember the last time I was that excited about anything, much less something so commonplace like the arrival of parents, which presumably happens to him at least daily when he’s picked up from daycare.
The Bible reminds us over and over again to be joyful but that can easily go by the wayside in the daily humdrum of being an adult. Proverbs tells us:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Well that’s all well and good but how do we get joyful hearts? This is a particular struggle for me as listening to or reading the news is something I do often but that news is almost always AWFUL and depressing and I find myself extremely upset by it. Thankfully, the bible also gives us instruction on how to make our hearts joyful in a beautiful passage from Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Not surprisingly, Jesus had it so right when he told us “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.“ This week I’m praying for a heart like a child to focus on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise in the world and especially the joy of little moments (like the arrival of parents or friends).
To start finding joy, here’s a picture of the cute little boy whose picture you cannot help but smile at: