Sep 182018
Joy with her puppies

Our dog Joy had puppies this week-end.  Now she has nine squirmy, noisy, pooping, peeing, totally self-absorbed little fur balls causing her enormous amounts of grief and uncomfort.  Even so, she lays still for hours on end, bearing their constant grunts and squeals as thy crawl all over her, biting, sucking, and pulling in places they should, and shouldn’t.

I guess it is instinct that makes her tolerate their torture.  Somehow she knows that only she can provide what they really need.  Somehow she knows she must patiently watch over and deal with them as only a mother can.  Somehow she manages to deny her own needs so that she can tend to theirs.  For dogs, we call it instinct.  When people do it, we call it love.  But you know, the Bible says God is love.  So, should we really be surprised to find it reflected all throughout his creation?

Oct 022011

The pool is closed.  We put the cover on it yesterday, but not before I took one last swim.  The water was a cool 72 degrees.  The air was just a little warmer, and the sun was shining through a clear blue sky.  The sparkling fresh water was just daring me to jump in.  I did it.  The water was cold and a little bit of a shock, but I jumped in anyway, and in the process, found joy.

There is something about acts like this that lift my sprit.  I don’t know why.  I hope it’s not a character flaw.  What I THINK I like, is to be comfortable.  To sit and relax.  To do the easy things.  To do the usual, normal things.  But what I find brings me joy is to suck it up every now and then and force myself to do something just a little out of that box.  I couldn’t resist the urge to add to my “Fun things I did this year” resume: Went swimming in October.  Been there, done that.   What’s next?

Jun 152010

I had to fix the brakes on my wife’s van yesterday.  I didn’t want to do it.  It was a lousy job to come home to after a full Monday at the office, but the brakes were making a noise so I decided I better look at them.   Bad brakes and mountain driving are not a safe combination.

After dinner, there was a struggle to get the jack in place, a fight with lug nuts that involved a hammer and a breaker bar, and calipers that were at times downright uncooperative.  The last rays of daylight were slipping away as Tammy pointed a pathetic excuse for a flashlight at the brake master cylinder.   The lid came off easily enough, but I think it took us 15 minutes to get it back on.  Now there was just the test drive left to do.  Tammy carefully started off, disappeared up the street, then came back smiling.  The brakes were working perfectly.

As the old pads (worn almost to the metal) were tossed in the trash, I began to have that feeling of statisfaction that comes from a job well done.   It is odd how that works, this inverse relationship.  The more you don’t want to do a thing, the more happy you are when it is done.  The more difficult the job, the more relieved you are when it is completed.  The more you dread the start, the greater joy you have at the finish.

Imagine a day over two thousand years ago, and One who had the most difficult task of all.  As the pain and struggles from that long day ended, He declared, “It is finished.”  Then came the joy.  Perfect joy.  Heavenly joy.  Unimaginable joy.    

 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

                       –  Hebrews 12:1-3   NKJV

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