Life! ...is meant to be a delight.

I just spent the weekend thinking it was anything but that. Dani and I were on the outs. We mostly pretended the other wasn't there. She did laundry with a vengence while I stared at the TV. The kids - and the dog - were a pain in the butt and I wished they would just go away. And I couldn't find any reason to do anything but lie in bed.

Hundreds of CDs, and listening to music bored me.

Even old episodes of "Hometime" failed to capture my interest.

But that's not how God made the world to be.

God made the world to be a place of joy and wonder and delight.

(A gorgeous piece of visual delight - a simple wildflower)

I am sure that's why the writer of Genesis kept saying over and over again, "God looked at what he had made, and saw that it was good." Well, that, and because he knew that by the time his readers got to reading his stuff, it was getting hard to tell. But at the very beginning, it was clearer!

God made food to taste GOOD. An Ice cream sandwich in the middle of the night normally is a treat!

When you see all those commercials for sizzling burgers and crispy fried chicken and barbecue ribs smothered in deep, red BBQ sauce; when you see that can of beer spritz open, or that refreshing spray of Coca-Cola - the idea isn't to make you turn away in disgust!

A sunny day normally brings a smile to your face... not the desire to roll over in bed and wish everything would just go away.

Joy is just built right into life.

A smile, a hug, or just holding hands - all those simple little things that can warm you inside - the great gift from God is the incredible joy the everyday, little things of life can bring. And that's what makes life worth living.

At least that's how it is when things are the way God meant them to be, when things are right.

When things are right, life is a delight.

It's when things AREN'T right, when they aren't the way God meant them to be - that's when life goes sour.

The trouble comes when things get out of whack. And boy, it sure is easy for things to get out of whack!

My medications don't make food taste all that bad - just bad enough, so it's the difference between a place closer to heaven and... some place I don't much enjoy!

But what a difference.

But then it doesn't matter how great the pizza tastes, if the kids are sitting at the table, poking each other and making nasty comments, forget it.

It's misery.

And there is such a small difference between the kids smiling and saying, "Sure, I'll do the dishes," (okay, I have never actually heard those words...), and getting a scowl instead. But it is the difference between a day filled with peace and harmony, and an exhausting day of frustration and anger.

I guess the thing is, food tasting good comes naturally most of the time - getting along doesn't!

It's easier to say, "No! I don't want to!" THAT is what seems to come naturally, around here anyway.

It's harder to make things right. It's harder to say, "Sure, I'll do it." It takes effort. You have to CHOOSE to do what is right, and then you have to do it.

It's so easy for things to get out of whack - and hard to make them right!

But there was more to my misearable weekend than just food tasting bad, and the kids not getting along. Eventually I realized I had lost sight of the fact that God is with us.

I had lost sight of God's love.

DUH! I mentally hit myself upside the head - yet again!

Loving God - and knowing his love - that's the thing that gives life its real joy! Without that, all of the other stuff just doesn't matter.

Loving God - that's thing I really need to make sure I don't let get out of whack!

Compared to that, everything else is small potatoes.

My trouble is, I spend all my time beating the small potatoes!

I get it all backwards. I spend most of my time trying to get the least important things right - keeping the house cleaned, fixing meals and cleaning up the mess, running kids to wherever.

But all that small potatoes stuff just doesn't matter if we can't get along, if things with each other aren't right.

And nothing matters if things with God aren't right.


I need to remember to put GOD first!

I need to spend my time FIRST considering what he wants me to do - not what I want to do. Spend time in prayer. Be thankful. Just take the time to turn my thoughts toward God and spend time with him.

Do that FIRST - and then worry about the other stuff, let everything else fall into its own place.

But do I do that? It's so easy to let it slip. It's so easy to get caught up in the little stuff first. It's so easy to put what I want first...

...and so stupid!

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2011 Paul Dallgas-Frey