Before we added our fourth child and I only had two kids in school, there was a time that mornings didn’t feel so rushed and I was actually able to read with the girls from our devotional. One morning years ago I had been talking to them about having joy in our hearts. Our devotional verse was,
Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not for man. Colossians 3:23
I explained that when we do things joyfully with our whole heart, that it makes the Lord happy. After I dropped off my older two at school, I came home with my third daughter who was three at the time. As we pulled into the garage, I noticed that she had kicked off her shoes and was starting to climb out without them. I asked her to go back and grab her shoes please, and then get out of the van. She looked at me and then the shoes, and then exhaled heavily. She furrowed her brow and scowled as she went to pick up the flip flops. The nerve of me to ask her to do such an exhausting task! I wanted to make it a teaching moment, so I reminded her about our verse we had talked about just one hour prior.
“Remember, joyfully!” I chirped.
Without missing a beat, she said very matter of factly, “I gots joy in my heart; I just gots grumpy on my face!”
I’m pretty sure I didn’t even try to contain my laughter.
How often do we, as adults, do the same thing though?
We tout the love of Jesus, but grumble at a task. We sing of the joy of the Lord, but can’t offer a smile to a stranger. As we enter this holiday season, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of busyness and hurry. We can yell at the guy that cuts you off in traffic, or we can offer grace. We can walk past the lady sitting by herself at the park, or we can smile and say hello. It saddens me that so often we don’t even hear “please” and “thank you” anymore. I’m on a personal mission to bring back the courteous drivers wave. If someone lets me over to their lane, I say “thank you.” It doesn’t matter if they see it every time; for me, it’s about having an attitude of gratitude.
My prayer is that we would all take that extra moment to remember that every action can serve the Lord. Washing dishes? Well, what if you were washing dishes for Jesus? It wouldn’t make it so menial. Truly serving the Lord creates the joy in our hearts. This season, may the joy in our hearts show in our actions and on our faces too!