A child begs his mother for candy.
And she refuses his request.
Not now, son. You can have candy later. In the meantime, let’s get our shopping done.
The child, realizing adults have mean times, yet full of hope, relentlessly inquires.
Then, in the nice time, I can have candy?
Children are eager to live in the nice times. The sweetness of delight. Looking and searching for the pleasures of life.
Somewhere along the way, the colorful outlook dims. A gradual loss of optimism. A shedding of joyful innocence.
Possibly absorbing the cynicism from the adults in their lives, the brightness of hope often fades.
A spiraling of negativity.
I overhear a conversation while shopping for fruit. An older gentleman warmly greets a familiar woman. Finding an opportunity to only recount her ails, she pours forth words of discouragement. His cheerful demeanor dissolves after only a short while. And I notice his premature attempts to excuse himself from the encounter.
I reflect on my own countenance.
My character and my heart.
Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
A remembrance of recent complaints and grumblings sour my mood. The guilt of dull responses discolor my day.
How often do I rain on the parades of others with my thunderous clamors of criticism, howling woebegone winds or even downcast drizzles of despondency.
Are others, those who live in the nice times hoping for the bowl of candy at the end of life’s rainbow, seeking premature departures from my company as I embitter their day?
I confess and repent.
Father, please forgive me for using my tongue to speak words contrary to the Spirit of Life you’ve given me.
Forgive me, Lord, for attitudes unbecoming a child of the King.
Your grace and mercy surround me.
But I have overlooked and failed to give thanks.
The vibrant expectations of children call deep into the souls of those living in the mean times.
Those who focus on the forecast of thirty percent rain while the joy seekers are expecting the seventy percent sunshine.
An invitation is extended.
A bidding to abide in thanks living.
A proposition for life filled with sparkling and rejuvenating effervescence.
Expecting the nice times even in the mean times.
“And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.” (Ann Voskamp)