Don’t Postpone Joy

Last year marked something new, something different. Things started shifting and moving.  I’ve been locked in and locked out. I’ve been shut in and shut up. I’ve been passionate. Sometimes a little too passionate. I’ve spoken when I should have remained silent and remained silent when I should have spoken. I’ve felt this urgency, an urgency I can’t explain. And through all of this, I haven’t stopped moving. Moving towards something I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on….?

Then it happened. That moment that stops everything. That realization that makes you recalibrate and refocus. That instant, you take a deep breath and stop moving. It happened like this…

My daughter and I decided one Saturday morning to visit an estate sale. I’d never been to one before, at least not that I remember, but I will never forget this one.

We walked into the house where the estate sale was being held. Immediately, something stirred inside of me. This house represented someone’s earthly treasures, but it wasn’t their earthly treasure I sensed; it was their heavenly treasures, the love,  the mercy, and the kindness that had been lived out there. It reminded me of what Jesus taught his disciples about where we should store our treasure:

Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice—don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. 20 Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Matthew 6:19-21 VOICE

Walking through the house, we started to look at various items; I was not searching for anything specific, but books always get my attention. I especially love books with gold lettering on their spine – they look so “fancy” on my bookshelves.

With that in mind, I grabbed a book that had the “fancy” factor I desired and continued to browse through the house. I stumbled across a type of vintage goblet that I collect for $1.00 ( Indiana Glass Company Goblet – Whitehall American Avocado Green if anyone runs across any….amber is fine too)! What a find! I ended up making the book and the goblet my own, and we called the trip good.

My daughter carried the book with the pretty spine out to the car, and as she was walking, she began to read from it. She was very quiet. I asked her what was wrong, and then she began to read out loud to me. As she was reading, tears welled up in my eyes, and in her eyes too. I knew right then that God had orchestrated this very moment in time. I knew that He had stopped whatever it was He was doing just to speak to me. This moment was important. It wasn’t to be forgotten.

Within seconds, I was reminded that life is not just about the shifting, and the moving, the constant striving, and the straining. Yes, living life with passion and urgency is important, but it is not the only important thing.

The book she read from, the book with the gold spine, was written by a man to his son Adam. My daughter read to me the following:

A lot has happened since the fall of 1990 when I sat at our kitchen table and jotted down a few pages of instructions and personal observations for my son, Adam. He was beginning his freshman year at college, and I felt that a collection of the insights and discoveries which had positively influenced my own life might be an appropriate gift to commemorate this important event. As a young adult, Adam would soon find himself standing at life’s most challenging crossroads. His choosing the right path would make all the difference. Here was my attempt to help his heart as well as his head to know the way.

This book is a book of fatherly advice from a father who loved his son very much, a book about how to live life and how to live it well. My daughter read some of this advice to me. As she was reading, it occurred to me how often I miss the simple things in life because I am too busy focusing on the big complicated problems that I was never meant to solve in the first place. I was reminded of what Jesus taught:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” 

Matthew 6:25

I like what Pastor Francis Chan said as well: Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

Yes, we should live life with passion and urgency, and zeal, and we should never stop striving for the TRUTH, but we must also appreciate the little things, the gifts that God gives us every day. These gracious gifts form moments woven together into a beautiful story – your story, my story, and ultimately His story.

It turns out that the book with the fancy gold spine provided me so much more than a place on my bookshelf. It made me stop. It made me recalibrate and refocus. It made me take a deep breath and re-evaluate my life and how I am living it.

So, here is some really simple advice from an earthly father to his son Adam, that I know makes our heavenly Father smile real big!

  1. Compliment three people every day.
  2. Have a dog.
  3. Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
  4. Overtip breakfast waitresses.
  5. Look people in the eye.
  6. Buy great books, even if you never read them (especially those with gold lettering on the spines) OK, Ok…I might have embellished this a bit!
  7. Sing in the shower.
  8. Use the good silver.
  9. Learn to make great chili.
  10. Plant flowers every spring.
  11. Be the first to say, “Hello.”
  12. Live beneath your means.
  13. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  14. Learn three clean jokes.
  15. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yard.
  16. If in a fight, hit first, and hit hard.
  17. Return all the things you borrow.
  18. Keep secrets.
  19. Never refuse homemade brownies.

The book with the gold lettering on its spine has proven to be a real treasure to me. Indeed, it is possible that God could drop this book in your lap just like He did mine, or you can purchase it from Amazon!

There is another book of Fatherly advice, advice that we should never, ever ignore. That advice is the advice given to us in the Book written by our Heavenly Father, a Father who knew from the beginning that we would at some time or another find ourselves standing at challenging crossroads where choosing the right path would make all the difference. A Father who wants to help our hearts, as well as our heads, find the way! Within this Book is the most important advice you will ever receive. So my dear friends as Joshua 1:8 heeds:

“Let the words from the book of the law be always on your lips. Meditate on them day and night so that you may be careful to live by all that is written in it. If you do, as you make your way through this world, you will prosper and always find success.”



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I am a truth seeker by nature. My passion is studying God's Word and sharing His Truth with others.

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