One of my earliest childhood memories is chasing my father around the lawn with my toy lawn mower. Not surprisingly this wore off in my teens when I was forced to actually mow the lawns with a crappy old lawn mower that you had to start with an electric drill.
Nowadays I actually like mowing my lawns. (You will notice I said my lawns; I probably wouldn’t enjoy mowing your lawns.)
Mowing my lawns brings some form of escapism and satisfaction. I plug in my MP3 player, zone out and get an uninterrupted hour to myself. The satisfaction comes from completion, the finished product, and it looks good.
Over the weekend I was mowing the lawns and Jayden woke up and decided he would take his plastic lawn mower and “help” me mow the lawns.
He starts by zig zagging all over the place, bouncing around like a rabbit on steroids. At first I think it is cute and it brings a smile to my face. After a while it becomes outright dangerous as he cuts in front of me and instigates lawn mower head on collisions.
My frustration starts to set in. Not because it is genuinely dangerous but because he interrupted my routine, my thoughts, MY time!
I start to get annoyed, and at that precise moment I miss the point of life.
Jayden was having fun, enjoying life while his old man was selfish, grumpy and annoyed. The five minutes extra it took to have fun with my son, was just 5 minutes I would spend on the couch later that day.
I was reminded that I need to be joyful. To delight in everything. In all things. To make my sons day.
Joy, afterall, is something God wants us all to have.
Strangely, the times I have the least joy seem to be the times that I am self-centered and concerned more for my problems and myself. My needs become more important that the needs of my son or my family or my friends … or … people!
In order to live vividly we need to take every opportunity to experience joy.
So … What if I focused less on myself and more on bringing joy to those around me? What would happen to me if I did this? Would I experience more or less joy?