Sometimes we know things but the knowledge we have doesn't actually change our lives.
There are those times, though, when we are going along, living life, and we hear something explained and we have this "Aha!" moment where it's like a long row of dominoes that were lined up perfectly topple over into a pile and we say, "Yes! I like it." And suddenly something we've known all our lives comes alive in a new way and it's not just knowledge, but something that might actually change our lives.
I had a moment like that last week when I was reading an email from my dad. He was talking about Joy, and how easy it is to get caught up in the hard things of life and the busy-ness and end up with little time for Joy. Yet, the Joy of the Lord is supposed to be our strength. How do we get it? Just wait and hope that it comes? It's nice when it just shows up but is there some kind of logical sequence for having Joy?
He shared how he's been sending early morning texts to people and how he didn't know if they did anything for the recipients but that they seemed to do something for him! Then he said, "...is it legitimate for one to get a joy out of a personal contact with people that one does not get in just praying a private prayer for that same person? Could this be part of the reason We are to "love the Lord our God", but also "our neighbor as ourselves"? Loving God does something for ourselves. Am I safe in suggesting that loving others seems to also do something for ourselves if it is in actual tangible acts. Does that make sense? Theoretic love sounds nice but seems to accomplish little in us ..."
That's when I had the "Aha!" moment. I'd had this concept going on in my own life lately and I hadn't really put the pieces together. Several times recently I have tucked notes into Chris' work shirt pockets for him to discover and the fun of it was just astonishing! Didn't even matter if he never said anything about them, just the act of love put a spring in my step. Also, I've been texting a friend every Monday lately and asking what I can pray about for her week. That little act has done something for me that I couldn't really explain but suddenly things began to make sense.
Later, my dad and I were texting about his email and he explained that the idea actually came from Galations 6:8 and the surrounding text. Here's what I found when I looked it up: Galations 6:7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
"Yes! I like it."
I don't know about you, but my default mode is definitely to sow to the flesh. What a lot of problems I could solve by choosing to make sowing to the spirit a way of life!
I challenge you - go write your children each a note saying one thing you like about them and slip it on their plate at supper. Send a card in the mail to someone every day for a week. Bake some cookies and give a plate to the neighbor. Help your child with one of their jobs. Wash the dirty windows you've been ignoring. Meet your husband at the door with combed hair and a smile...... the ideas are endless.... I'm feeling strengthened by Joy just thinking about it!