Object Lesson: A video of my son Caedmon’s excitement about a banana
Now before I go on, A) Yes I know he has a huge chunk of parsley on his lip, it’s not a booger and B) if you watch that video again in slo-mo, I ninja landed that last slice of banana right on to the existing pile of bananas in his moving hand. Seriously, I couldn’t do that again if I tried.
“I wish I loved anything as much as my kids love bubbles” ~ said Paul Rudd, in Knocked up.
If you spend much time around kids you will know right away that the joy they exude about their daily lives is contagious and intense. What did you love as a kid? I loved cheerios and ice cream, I still do, but with far less joy and enthusiasm. What if we all outwardly expressed childlike joy over the little things? I’ve given this some thought and realized that we would all behave like buddy the elf, which would be interesting but would result in low productivity and diabetes. As you recall, Buddy eats sugar like a fiend.
Even though I’m not converting to elf behavior, I think that we grown up types could stand to amp up the joy. I could go a whole week without getting half excited as my son does when I snap a banana off the bunch. That’s sad and its something I want to change.
After reading through the scriptures I have found that hope and joy are linked to each other.
For the hope of the righteous brings joy- Proverbs 10:28
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the holy spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
When we lose hope, we lose joy and peace. It makes perfect sense, the hopeless certainly aren’t joyful. The beauty in the innocence of children is that they see the world as a hopeful place, bursting with wonder. The bible calls us to have childlike faith, to believe firmly even after we’ve seen more of the world’s ugly bits than we care to recount. For the most part children believe that even when the going gets tough, that Mom and Dad have things covered. At some point in our coming of age we leave that feeling behind and replace it for skepticism and doubt. If we don’t have a lot of hope and joy I think it’s because we don’t feel like God “has us.”
This world dishes out some shocking and dark experiences, and the battle of our souls is largely wrapped up in we can emerge with our faith, hope and joy in tact, or at least if we are willing to fight to bring it back.
So every morning that I slice up another banana to my son’s excited squealing I am reminded that I want more joy. In order to gain the joy my soul needs I need to have concrete faith and hope so unshakeable that they remain a strong foundation even when my world quakes apart.
My kids have joy in the small and simple because they have faith and hope that their lives will be blessed and beautiful. They have no reason to believe otherwise. I lost that somewhere along the way, but I think it’s still there, under a few layers of crud that I’m still peeling away. My hope and joy are worth digging for and yours are too. Lets put down the cyclical and skeptical and instead go on a childlike treasure hunt or a game of hide and seek. Lets find the joy, renew the hope and live deeper than we are today.
It’s banana time people, get excited.
And remember that there is still time to enter the giveaway, you have until midnight CST on Saturday Feb 4.