The new calendar hanging on my pantry door has a Norman Rockwell print of a grandfather laughing with two young boys. The quote with this January picture is from comic Charlie Chaplin, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
Have you made any New Year resolutions? I haven’t. Except for the same ones I resolve repeatedly all yearlong: Quit sugar. Move more. Lose 5 pounds.
In my past I was quite serious about resolutions. Every January I would chose a characteristic of Jesus and make it my goal to work on it that whole year. After a few years of that, it was clearly futile. I did not grow more loving, more humble, more anything like Jesus, and actually it seemed the harder I tried, the more self-focused and hypocritical I became.
So that year I quit making New Year resolutions. I experienced God’s grace and was able to quit living a New Year’s Resolution Christianity.
If I were to make a resolution this year I was thinking to laugh each day would be a good one.
Like celebrating all the grace.
Yesterday I walked to the lake with little Pookie, my grand-daughter, and I was thrilled-almost-giddy to see a stunning pair of ducks I’d never seen before. The male had bright yellow eyes and an odd black and head; the female’s fuzzy cinnamon-colored crest fanned up and down.
I loved watching them dive in and out of the water and I couldn’t stop smiling and repeating, “Look, little Pookie. Look at those beautiful ducks God made!’
I researched them when we got home and found this photo to show you, and their name: hooded mergansers.
Seeing those ducks and all the joy it gave me reminds me of the day I was alone hiking and spied a rare mushroom, a single, feisty, fringed purple cap, pushing up through fallen leaves. Seeing her made me so happy. “Wow. Look what God has made!” I said to no one.
I felt so special that God had arranged my walk to show me this beauty-of-the-woods, like He showed Mr. and Mrs. H. Mergenser to little Pookie and me.
And one more. A simple lemon. Have you ever given full attention to a lemon? I hadn’t, until last summer when my oldest granddaughter sliced one in half, and was so delighted she had to show me: the yellow rimmed circle, the perfect symmetry, the soft colors, the lines reminiscent of flower petals, the tiny juice pockets – all quite marvelous.
What a Brilliant Maker God is.
I read in my devotional book that Frances Ridley Havergal (an English poet and hymnwriter, 1836-1879) was known for her positive spirit and reminding Christians that ” ‘fresh glory’ is just as important as fresh air and fresh water.”
“Fresh glory.” That is what the hooded mergensers showed me. And the purple mushroom and all lemons. The glory of God in His creation.
Not to mention all the glory that creation shows us about Him. His power. Love. Faithfulness. And grace, glorious grace.
I’m thinking about mixing Chaplin’s and Havergal’s words to make my own quote. What do you think: “A day without fresh glory is a day wasted.” ?
God’s glory is everywhere and I think looking for it every day this new year would make a good resolution . . . if I were to make one.