Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
Recently, my son-in-law snapped a picture of his daughter Ellie as they waited in line at an Asian restaurant. She was looking at a silly cat decoration on the counter. She likes her photo taken, but in that moment, she wasn’t posing. I loved it. With a single shot, her father captured her wonder and enjoyment of a simple thing.
I’m often in such a hurry getting things done on my To-Do list, I miss the simple things. Or they fly by so quickly, I don’t enjoy them like I ought. And goodness knows, the state of the world doesn’t lend itself to an encouraging viewpoint these days. It’s all too easy to get problem-focused and lose our joy.
Often the things that lighten our hearts are simple. Our new dog Lacey—I think she’s going to be a puppy forever—provides lots of pleasure. One morning my husband covered Ike, the older dog, with his “doughnut,” a lightweight dog cushion, because he gets cold easily. I saw Lacey tugging at it, so I told her to stop. Then I got busy and the next thing I knew, Lacey was lying on said “doughnut,” and Ike had no covering. Or when she proudly brought (all the way up the stairs to my office) Dave’s house shoe, which is supposed to be strictly off-limits. Or the bag of croutons with teeth marks I found on the living room floor.
Or the fun of learning a new card game with my oldest grandson. My son taught us how to play “Sevens,” and we loved it. Emmitt, the younger brother, even got in on the action when I let him sit on my lap and “help” me choose my next play. Then we made peanut butter cookies. The hardest part was making sure Emmitt didn’t criss cross the cookies into pancakes.
Or when we watched the Dallas Cowboy game and explained to our grandsons what overtime was—not that the extra opportunity helped Dallas any. Oh, dear. Starting to sound like my Daddy. My brother and I grew up watching football on Sunday afternoons, but what I remember most was Daddy ranting about all the opportunities the Cowboys missed.
Those short increments of time help me relax and regain my perspective. It’s important to note that Jesus Christ also took time outs. Scripture says He rose at night and prayed, but He took time to be with children as well. And He loved his disciples dearly. Sinners liked hanging out with Him. By all accounts, Jesus wasn’t too busy for the simple things.
He also had enemies, but it seems the ones who hated Him most were the Pharisees, a religious group of the day who possessed a lot of power and influence. And way too self-focused.
Because Jesus was focused on what was important, He didn’t look through lenses of political correctness or worry about who would be offended. He just told the truth and let the chips fall wherever. Not that His enemies appreciated it. They were so threatened and jealous, they brought trumped up charges against Him, rammed a trial and guilty verdict through, and had Him crucified. Not fair in any sense of the word.
But God is bigger than the evil machinations of man. They meant it for evil, but God allowed it to accomplish His will and His best for us. After Jesus lay in a tomb for three days, God raised Him from the dead. So we could be free from the sting of death. So we could be free from separation from God.
So we could see things like He does. Fresh. New. Pure and untainted by sin.
Like looking through the eyes of a child.