Sam in the SnowJan 26, 2023
Sam in the Snow
What does JOY look like in your life?
Maybe it's the weather, or the time of year, or the after-holidays blues, but I haven't been especially joyful lately. And I'm a little concerned that my default setting seems to be cynicism, pessimism, negativity.
I see an ad on television and I shout in derision. FAKE! I say.
I read or hear a comment from someone and roll my eyes. FALSE! I think to myself.
I check out the website of someone that (truth be told) I'm a little jealous of, and snort. FRAUD!
Not a very cool default setting on the old thinking-patterns knob in my brain. My mother would shake her head and say, "Don't be ugly."
Have you noticed when you are down, it's almost automatic to want everyone else to be down, too? That misery really does love company?
I heard an interesting story about crabs. A scientist experimented with a group (a cluster? a herd? a school? Google says it is a "cast" of crabs. Hmmmm), a cast of crabs. Thrown together into a basket, if one manages to claw its little crustaceous body to the top of the basket toward freedom, the other crabs will actually start clawing at him to bring him down to their level. Nobody really likes someone else winning, right?
No wonder we call people in a bad mood a CRAB!
So as I'm meditating on my crabbiness this morning, I see a photo in my memories of my middle son Sam Casada... arms outstretched, in total abandon, having the time of his life in the snow. Will, then probably 10 or 11, is bombing Sam with a snowball, and Sam, maybe 16 years old, is receiving it with total JOY!
I remember the day... Emily and the boys couldn't wait to get out in the snow and play. They were totally in the moment, and loving every single moment of it. The cold didn't matter. The wet didn't matter. It was a SNOW DAY! and it was glorious.
Oh! to be so free!! Oh to be so present and full of joy in an ordinary sweet moment! Not focused on the yuck—and let's be clear, there's plenty of muck and yuck to sneer at—but on this moment of joy!
Brain science says that we can absolutely change our settings, change our focus. Crabbiness may feel like it's inevitable, unavoidable, someone else's fault, even, but in reality we can choose.
Choose positivity. Choose affirmation. Choose belief.
Today, I stretch my arms out in total abandon...
I choose JOY. I choose gratitude. I choose to NOT pull those moving toward the light back down into darkness. Nobody wants to live in darkness. I don't want to dwell here. It's dark and scary.
Joy is light and peace.
I choose JOY!
The joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2 NIV
Want more content? Talk & Pray: What's the Word PODCAST coming soon! Each week we'll explore a common word and unpack it for its internal, external, and eternal value. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, it'll make you look at "vocabulary" in a whole new way!
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