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. 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.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: Enjoying the Simple Things: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved