Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Wednesday night I got it right. We ended a good day with a great night. After a day abounding with simple pleasures; a community parade with friends and family, ice cream in the park, a backyard barbeque with no burden to entertain (my BFF came, but she is family), quiet time, and then fireworks in an evening display launched by a breathtaking sunset. As I pointed it out to my friend, she made the comment that captured my day, “Good job, God.” Now that’s a praise. That’s a simple pleasure.
We are exposed to an orgy of excess. There is always something fabulous to do, see or experience just beyond the edge of your comfort zone. I do not hold excess in contempt. I have indulged in lavish experiences and remember them fondly. With age however, I have come to appreciate “heartfelt.” I’ll never be a minimalist, but I can appreciate that more than you need is often too much. I don’t know that I’ve have enjoyed as much of my experience July 4th if it hadn’t been executed on a tiny footprint. I was able to appreciate the richness of each experience because I could focus. Honestly, time spent with people I cared about made it a very special day. Every day could be that special.
Christianity offers us many things. Matthew Henry’s Commentary declares,
…it is a practical religion, that tends to the right ordering of the conversation. It is designed not only to inform our judgments, but to reform our hearts and lives.
All the joy of my really good day is available to me every day. I’ve had glimpses of this before. Not too long ago, I figured out that in expecting only good, I get what I anticipate. So, here’s my recommended mandate for a blessed, simple life…
1. Love sincerely.
2. Cherish good…
3. Love devotedly
That is the lesson. And on the days when you’ve followed that mandate, feel free to quote my good friend, saying, “Good job, God.” You will know the joy of a life overflowing with abundance, even if you weren’t already aware of it. You will know, simply, that God is good.