You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.~Psalm 16:11 NLT
We enjoyed the simple things. We had no choice.
Before cell phones, the internet, gaming, kidnappings, and killings, backyards seemed to continue forever, and my cousin and I had a large one. I didn’t visit him as often as I wanted, but when I did, I had the time of my life. He and his family lived next door to my grandparents who owned a farm. Not only could we roam our grandfather’s farm, but we could also explore the land surrounding it. After all, my grandfather knew the owners and knew they didn’t care.
Our explorations and inventions seemed endless. On sultry summer days, we anticipated the frequent thunderstorms that often passed over the area, courtesy of the nearby lakes, bringing with them temporary relief from the heat.
But that wasn’t the best part. In the flatlands of South Carolina, water holds everywhere. And the shallow ditches beside the road were our favorite. Thunderstorms often laid down an inch or more of water in a short period. As the mud puddles lay cuddled beside the road, they invited my cousin and me to imbibe. And we did.
In full attire, and with all the speed we could muster, we ran back and forth through the puddles. Although the rain showers had brought temporary relief, they also left behind high humidity. Feeling the water from the puddles course over our bodies provided just the relief we sought. After all, these were the days before any air conditioning existed in our grandparents’ house.
By the time we finished our antics, our clothes were filthy, but our grandmother didn’t care. We were just doing what boys did: enjoying a simple pleasure. We didn’t worry about dirt or germs.
Now and then, our grandfather gave us a special privilege: driving his tractor through the fields behind his house. Well…not me. I didn’t know how to drive a tractor, but my cousin did. I sat on the rear wheel hub while my cousin puttered us through the fields, bumping and twisting. I held on for dear life, imagining what would happen if I fell and the large rear tire rolled over me. A simple pleasure.
For the psalmist, pleasure came from merely basking in God’s presence and from thinking about how that would extend into eternity.
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!~Psalm 139:7 NLT
Funny how complicated life can become as we age. Our plates fill with things that clutter our life, often to the point that we don’t know whether we’re coming or going. Working at our jobs, laboring on our hobbies, raising children, transporting our kids or grandkids to everything they’re involved in, entertaining friends, building relationships. Good things…but cluttery things.
Amid all the noise and hustle and bustle, we find ourselves trying to find a moment of quiet when we can hear God speak or just enjoy His creation. Watching birds at a backyard feeder. Gazing at squirrels preparing for winter. Lying in a field of broom straw and looking for shapes in the clouds. Reading a good book. Journaling. Writing a devotion, short story, or novel.
Although we can’t return to all the simplicities of childhood, we can re-order our lives so that we, too, can enjoy the simple pleasure of basking in God’s presence.~Martin Wiles, author of A Whisper in the Wood: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World
Although we can’t return to all the simplicities of childhood, we can re-order our lives so that we, too, can enjoy the simple pleasure of basking in God’s presence. We can stop fighting for recognition and killing ourselves to get ahead and be satisfied with the opportunities God sends our way. We possess the power to redesign our lives to make time for the simple pleasures.
Determine that you will make time to enjoy life’s simple joys.
What are some of the simple things you enjoy?
Father, may we learn to relax long enough to enjoy the beauty of Your world.
Copyright 2021: Enjoying the Simple Things: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Martin Wiles is an author, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized devotion site, Love Lines from God. Wiles is the managing editor for Christian Devotions, the senior editor for Inspire a Fire, and a proof editor for Courier Publishing. He has also served as web content editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
Wiles has authored A Whisper in the Wood: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God, and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
He has served as regional correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for
Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. Wiles has been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, Stand Firm, The Banner, Relevant, and Lutheran Digest.
He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, and Vine Words: Devotions and More, and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal.
Wiles’s latest book, Don’t Just Live…Really Live is under contract with Ambassador International.
CONNECT WITH MARTIN WILES AT
Managing Editor, Christian Devotions
Senior Editor, Inspire a Fire
Proof Editor, Courier Publishing
On the Web: Love Lines From God