Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
Cathy wants a dog, so that's it, we're getting a dog. Now don't think I'm just giving in to make her happy. Though, that's not such a bad thing either. The truth of the matter is that I am okay with the thought, and
actually looking forward to having a dog around. Any offers of assistance will be accepted and greatly appreciated. Cathy and I have both had dogs before. Let there be no mistake; however, this is going to be her dog. I already have Sophie. Sophie is a cat that thinks she's a dog. She follows me almost everywhere, responds when I call her and considers my lap her personal property. This is all good and well until Sophie decides that I deserve her company at 3:00 a.m. A closed door does nothing to deter her from making her intentions known. The only way I know that Sophie is pleased is when she closes her eyes and purrs like the radial engine on a DC-3 plane. Otherwise, Sophie wears a perpetual frown on her face. A dog, however, evokes a vast myriad of emotions, and all are easily discernible. Dogs actually smile and let you know when they are delighted. It is really entertaining to watch a happy dog prancing about.
Another delightful sight to see is children when they are happy. You know those times – like the very first time a child eats ice cream, catching their very first fish, or riding a bike with no training wheels for the first time. Or the way their eyes light up on Christmas morning and they laugh with delight with each new gift opening – whether it is theirs or someone else's. There is also the joy of when a child meets and immediately accepts new friends. There is no judgment or hesitation, just acceptance of a new playmate to share adventures with. Many years ago, at a family gathering, four sisters -all in their early 30s – were actively engaged in conversation. That literally means they were all talking at the same time. A four-year-old niece could not get a word in at all. So, she proceeded to climb up onto the table, walk to the middle and proclaim, "Girls! I have something to say." She had their attention, and a memory was made that
will last for a very long time.
Another timeless joy is when two people publicly declare their love for one another. It was my privilege to officiate a wedding at Gooseberry Falls State Park last weekend. It was a picture-perfect setting with Lake
Superior for a backdrop. A gentle breeze, sunny and 70 degrees, no humidity and no bugs. The unity candles even stayed lit throughout the ceremony. The highlight for me came as I saw the unmistakable look of true love that the bride and groom had for each other. As I concluded the ceremony, a song came vividly to mind, "Happy Together," by the Turtles. I felt a little embarrassed and did not share the thought with the new couple as neither was born when the song came out in 1967. In fact, their parents may not have recognized it, but the grandmother indeed would have. It is incredible to think of how quickly time does pass by and reflect on how many joyful experiences we have had.
Becky, an inspirational author, wrote on her website, soveryblessed.com, that there are 10 things joy can do for you.
- help you lose weight - help you focus
- lower your stress - improve your memory
- lower your risk of a heart attack - cause you to want to serve others more
- improve your blood pressure - make you more grateful and content
- boost your immune system - make you feel pretty amazing
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Philemon 1:7 (NIV)
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”
May you be blessed by God’s word.