Once again, I have been absent from Blogger for the better part of a month. For two weeks straight, I have worked 14 hours of overtime. In addition to that, I have been trying to keep my home clean (a never-ending process), trying to see my sweetie as much as possible before he goes to Kairos (prison ministry), and trying to get a decent amount of sleep despite it all (unsuccessfully).
Coming up, I have an autumn trip through a forest, and some fall prettiness on my front porch, but first...
With no further ado, I am sharing an excerpt from my sweetheart's recent sermon. I was delighted that he mentioned my dog. I have to say, he is right on the money in what he says about my little Jack Russell dog Jake. Oh, he looks so innocent here. "Berry Sweet" and "Berry Good" it says. Ha! Not quite. Anyhow, this is what Pastor Mike had to say. And I have to admit, I enjoyed every bit of it!
"I have a friend who has a dog. I don’t want to sound bad, but this is the most useless dog I’ve ever seen in my life. This dog would have to improve a lot to be as smart as a lamp. He makes messes on the floor, he barks at the wall. He bites sometimes for no reason. But still, I have to say I kind of like this dog. I have a soft spot in my heart for this dog. Because every time I go over there this dog nearly turns himself inside out because he is so happy to see me. He has this little stub of a tail and he almost wags it right off. And he’s happy about everything – you know how dogs are. You feed the dog and the dog is happy and dancing around – oh boy, oh boy, I’m going to eat the same thing I ate yesterday and the day before and I just can’t wait! You take the dog in the car – oh boy, oh boy, I get to go in the car – this is the greatest thing ever! And I think, why can’t Christians be as smart as dogs? How’s come dogs are better at showing joy than Christians are? We have so much to be happy about – we have so much to be excited for, but you would never know it most of the time!
OK, I read this and its supposed to be true – I have my doubts though. But even if it isn’t true it’s a good story. When missionaries were in the northern part of Alaska they were trying to translate the Bibles for Eskimos, but there were some problems. Any time you go to translate the Bible in any culture, there’s a difficulty in translating some words because cultures and languages don’t always have the same words. There was no word in the Eskimo language for joy. And as they were trying to translate joy, biblically, they drew from experience. And as they watched, they saw that the happiest, the most joyful moments in those Eskimo villages were in the evening when they fed their sled dogs. They’d go out, and the dogs would yelp and wag their tails and get all excited. And so, out of that experience, they pulled the word for joy: "wagging their tails." So like, for instance, in that passage where it says, "The disciples, after the resurrection, saw Jesus and they were full of joy," in the Eskimo version it would read, "When the disciples saw Jesus, they wagged their tails." Why can’t we wag our tails?"
I wonder why we don't show more joy. We live in an incredible world. Even on my worst days, I can look out my window and see something to be joyful about. This earth we live on is so beautiful.
Sometimes joy is a choice. We can choose to look out the window on a fall day and see all the leaves on the ground and think about all the raking we have to do, and how we dread the approaching cold winter temps and weather, or we can look out that window and instead see the beautiful colors in the trees, and we can go outside to enjoy the sound of the crunch of leaves under our feet, the smell of autumn in the air, and enjoy marshmallows roasted over a bonfire to create s'mores.
Mike used a passage from Romans 5 as inspiration, which includes the verse, "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." He leaves His glory all around us! All we have to do is look for it and take joy.
And if we get so excited that we wag our little (or not so little) tails in joy, well then, isn't that just a testament to His awesomeness?
C'mon and shake your tailfeathers....I know you can do it!
Have a great week. And for more Spiritual Sunday goodness, head on over here.