I walked out of the grocery store feeling frustrated. Does grocery shopping usually frustrate me? Yes. Rarely is there anything new to really get excited about there. I wander the produce aisle and get the same fruits and vegetables. I move through the dairy aisle and avoid the real dairy for my lactose intolerant family. Almond milk anyone? And I’m supposed to avoid the inner aisles because they’re full of the stuff I shouldn’t buy. So I seem to get the same things every time I go. Boring!
But this time, I was intentional about needing something different, something fun. And I pursued it with a passion. Rather than walking up and down aisles, I asked a stock boy. A brilliant move. A time-saving move. And he popped the balloon of my euphoria. “We used to carry that, but not anymore.”
Of course they don’t carry it. This is me in the grocery store. What was I thinking?
So I headed outside, miffed that I must go somewhere else to complete my mission. I don’t have the time to do that. So now I’m doubly miffed.
As I mumbled to myself, head down, not looking where I was going, I happen to glance up. (I felt the whoosh of a car as it flew past me. Note to self–don’t look down when crossing busy parking lots.) But my eyes continued upward and I saw a large balloon being lifted higher and higher on the wind.
Balloons are air creatures with a talent for dancing on the wind. And this balloon was jitterbugging all over the sky because it was quite a blustery day. It would drop, lift then bounce, bounce, bounce. Carefree, unaware that it was the focus of my attention, unconcerned about how it looked as it moved across a cloudless sky. Drop, lift, bounce, bounce, bounce.
There is a playfulness to balloons that often escapes my attention. A lightness and brightness that isn’t bothered by a stray cloud or a sudden change in the wind. They joyfully exist for the purpose for which they were made. To celebrate and bring joy. To make people smile. Drop, lift, bounce, bounce, bounce.
The lesson from the balloon: Don’t allow the disappointments of life to blind me to what I was meant to be. Not mired in misery but lifted up to life. To hope. To dance.
‘I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love….I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:9, 11
I am well-loved by the One who made me. Struggles, hardships, crises will come. That’s life. But if I can focus on His love, I can learn to dance–anywhere, any time.
Drop, lift, bounce, bounce, bounce.