If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil —the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
Deuteronomy 7:12-13 (NIVO)
When I wrote “a gracious offer of pardon and peace,” I’d let someone else’s mood ruin my day. I applied a better solution to the problem this time around and was rewarded with a variety of simple pleasures throughout my day. I. CAN. LEARN.
Deuteronomy is all about the rules, and they are clear. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary characterizes the seventh chapter as follows,
We are in danger of having fellowship with the works of darkness if we take pleasure in fellowship with those who do such works. Whatever brings us into a snare, brings us under a curse. Let us be constant to our duty, and we cannot question the constancy of God's mercy.
Sounds like the advice of any wise parent…follow the rules and love and blessings will follow, not to mention contentment and peace. So here’s how my day went…
Rough start, but I breathed, prayed, acknowledged that I should not take responsibility for a problem I did not create; made an effort to guide it to resolution, and released myself from taking on the burden of someone else’s angst. I made an effort to “disseminate grace generously, and cultivate a thankful heart.” (thanks, MD, author of http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/ you said it way better than I could). Then, I released it and moved on.
Although I was craving comfort food for breakfast, I had a greater desire to feel healthy and strong, and besides, we’d just been to the market for seasonal fruits. I relished the simple pleasure of a homemade fruit salad eaten in my backyard while the dog enjoyed his fresh picked apple. Simple pleasures abound if you but open your eyes to look.
Watching the dog gave me another idea. I wandered around and beneath the apple trees in our backyard (my cup truly overflows) and picked enough ripe apples for tomorrow’s dessert, apple crostata (just a sexy European way of saying apple pie made without the pan).
Finally, after an early morning trip to the local farmer’s market with my son, fellow co-conspirator in taking back the day, I came home and made enough pesto to refill the dish I keep in the fridge. It’s my go to for all kinds of cooking, and it’s far too simple and cheap to buy when you can make it and perfume the entire kitchen.
Despite challenges to my peace, I had a day of learned lessons and simple pleasures. I benefitted from previous mistakes by following simple rules:
1. Love sincerely
2. Cherish good
3. Love devotedly
4. Forgive sincerely
5. Disseminate grace generously
6. Cultivate a thankful heart
Class dismissed. Now go and unearth your own simple pleasures, hidden like Easter eggs waiting to be discovered. You needn’t go far; you’ll likely not spend a dime. Go get your blessing; it waits for you. Do you need any better evidence that God is good?