Hey all, this is my first ever blog and I hope that as I continue to learn and tweak my style that you will continue to read. I'm not promising a literary or grammatical masterpiece but what I can promise is a message that I've poured my heart into.
I want to tell you about a special friend of mine named Zach. He is a bubbly, energetic, and wildly humorous 16 year old. He also was born with the gift of Downs Syndrome. For those of you not familiar with the disease it is a genetic condition that impairs development both Physically and Mentally. However this disease is not what makes Zach special, his special quality is his contagious exuberant joy. Last night as my family and friends (Including Zach's family) gathered around on a porch, we participated in a tradition familiar to most people residing underneath the Mason Dixon Line: a Sing-A-Long. But as I played the guitar and sang my families favorite tunes; Zach ,as he has a knack for doing, instantly turned ordinary into extraordinary. He wasn't content to just idly listen to the strumming of strings or the singing of lyrics. No, Zach got up and started tapping his foot and swinging his hips to the music. When the music was fast he tapped and clapped and swung fast, when it was slow he would show off his slow songs skills, but the one thing that never wavered was Zach's wide toothy grin as he laughed and sung.
It was in this very moment that I was hit full fledged in the face. In the midst of Zach's dancing and carrying on was something so much bigger : Joy. True, unshakable, slap-happy joy! Something that is unfortunately so rare in the world today. We often look at people like Zach and feel sorry for him, assuming that they are missing out on something. But I wonder if in all of our "intelligence" if we aren't truly the ones that are missing out. We over-analyze and over-think things to the point where we forget why we are doing them in the first place. In our attempts to improve our lifes, I wonder if we haven't just created more obstacles to distract us from what really matters. If in our thinking and strategizing five year plans we have forgotten about the Foundations of life. Things like Joy in a kid on christmas morning, the Love shared between two star crossed kids on their honey moons, or God's ultimate gift Relationships, and the beauty of a sunrise.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 says "Rejoice Always". Is this command to simple for us to follow? Or have we gotten so caught up in ourselves that we forgot what it meant to truly have Joy. Let's take a lesson from my friend Zach. Let's take time to stomp our foot to a good tune, to smile so big that we're in danger of straining our cheek muscles, and to above all else unclutter our mind so we can experience one of Life's foundations: Joy