That’s a statement that most everyone would agree with. A peek at the news confirms it. Hurt and pain recognize no borders. Fear and despair have no nationality. We question our safety, the fairness of life, the limits of our paychecks. Hope can drown in our daily emotions.
Until you look in the face of someone who isn’t concerned about the future.
Those who don’t think past the moment have two faces. One reflects deep need and deprivation. Pain and hurt now. Those are the ones who need others to help them move to a better place. A healthier situation.
The other face is joyful. Because the moment brings grins.
I can get overwhelmed by what I don’t know, can’t control.
They just happen.
My mind often goes to places where answers aren’t apparent. Information isn’t available. John’s on another trip–will he be ok? Haven’t heard from the kids in awhile–are they doing well? The paycheck wasn’t what I thought it would be–will it be enough? I said yes to so many things–will I be able to get them done well? Haven’t felt good in awhile–is there something really wrong?
Life changing events are harder to deal with. Car accidents with horrid injuries. Serious illness with no hopeful prognosis. Natural disasters that destroy life as it’s been known.
Those things result in grief. Hurting hearts. Despair and pain.
Can’t plan for those. Don’t want to.
In difficult moments, there’s a reminder that all of life isn’t rotten. That joy exists.
I see it in the faces of my grands. Who, when they’re young, know only hope. Or the temporary discomfort of disappointment. Hungry belly. Full diaper. Unwanted discipline. Unasked for restrictions. Their concerns center on what they’re feeling now. Not what lies in their future.
They’re not thinking of tomorrow. Today is enough.
Today there may be reasons to grin. To laugh out loud. A swing. Climbing something higher than they are tall. Licking the bowl when Mommy makes brownies. Going outside to play. Getting soaked by Daddy with the hose on a hot day. Winning a medal. Sunglasses. A new dress and first special evening out.
Small things that mean the world. In the moment.
Jesus spoke about not worrying over tomorrow. It has troubles of its own. Today has enough to deal with.
But today there’s joy. In the moment.
I can’t enjoy tomorrow. I can’t really enjoy what happened yesterday, though it may leave a sweet memory and a smile.
So many of my groanings are first-world problems–because we live in a very well-off society. When things don’t work the way I want them to. When I lack what I think I need.
Joy is a gift. Not dependent on culture or nationality.
A gift from God.
So I’ll look at the smiles of my grands. Enjoy their glee.
Remind myself of what I can be thankful for.