When I first began to write this blog, I had no idea what to say about joy that hasn’t already been written or spoken. I am no expert on the concept by any means. In fact, I almost turned down the assignment totally thinking I had nothing to say about joy. But as I wrote the rejection email, I began to think about what Millie would have to say.
Millie is my granddaughter. She’s just turned six, but is wise beyond her years in many aspects. She has a gift for speaking – although sometimes that is not a gift to those around her! – and has no trouble saying what’s on her mind.
I was reminded of a conversation I had with her cousin, Alex, one day. I have the pleasure of taking my grandchildren to school on certain days. On those days we go to McDonald’s for breakfast. At one point, what used to be a special time with only the two grandsons became a trip with three, adding Millie into the mix. This proved to be a problem for Alex. His problem? She could really be annoying, talking that much so early in the morning.
I told Alex something that I know came to me as a gift from God. Some mornings, I said, I can agree that she is a bit talkative (understatement!). “But, Alex,” I said calmly, “She just has so much joy about life! Everything is exciting to her; everything is new and interesting. Even the bad parts that happen are experiences she treasures. She doesn’t look at life as you and I do. Sometimes we just want to take the curtains and shut them on life for a while. Millie never does – she wants to see and experience EVERYTHING! She has a joy about life that even the bad times can’t squelch.”
Alex sat there for a moment. I thought he would come up with a “Yeah, but…” response, or even a, “Hmmph, bah humbug!” But he looked at me and said, “You’re right, Nana. I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I was like that every once in a while too.”
I have really thought about this for a long while now, and I would like to see life through Millie’s eyes too. A new flower on a plant receives just as much attention from her as a trip to the movies. She can hardly contain the joy she holds for the life God has given her. Hence, the non-stop chatter – it’s not as much questions about why and how as it is about just seeing and experiencing something and wanting to share it with the world.
When’s the last time I felt that awe and elation – translate that, joy – on those cold winter days when the wind whips through and my world isn’t quite as comfortable as I would like? Probably never – I’m not a winter person. But when you look at it through Millie’s eyes, it’s an adventure in the Arctic.
I pray that this season – and every season hereafter – we can all find that joy that Millie has, and I hope never loses. God has given us a gift more precious than we deserve. Let’s share that with the world – maybe in actions more than words!
Deacon Jennifer Scherzer and her husband Dr. Charles Scherzer attend and serve at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Spring, Texas. They can fill a pew with their grandchildren on any given Sunday.