Enjoyment comes in many forms. A holiday in Banff. An affirming friendship. A wide-screen TV. A candlelit dinner at a high end restaurant. A Sunday afternoon nap. The smell of a new car. Reading a good story while sipping a cup of coffee. A new Iphone.
But as I think back over my life, I’ve often been disappointed by experiences anticipated or things desired passionately. My first portable radio quickly lost its fascination. Our first new car turned out to be a lemon. No, disappointment has not dogged my steps, but I’m gradually learning to appreciate the simple pleasures of life.
God has given us five senses to use in the enjoyment of his gifts. “God gives us richly all things to enjoy”(1 Timothy 6:17). Many of these simple things flow around us unheeded as part of the natural world in which we live—unnoticed until we pause long enough to stop, look, and listen. And most of gifts are free!
Sight. The sun rising in the morning and the moon at night. Cumulous clouds drifting across the sky. The breeze ruffling the leaves on the trembling aspens. Swallows dipping and diving for insects. A squirrel eating a peanut. The unfurling of a flower. Words on paper telling a wonderful story. Snow covering everything in a white blanket. And letters in the mail.
Taste. The first asparagus of the season. Ripe, garden-grown tomatoes, cut thick and eaten juicy on a slice of freshly baked bread. The taste of one’s own home grown beans, carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. A freshly picked cob of corn smothered in butter. A bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day. And, ah yes, a steak broiled on the BBQ.
Touch. A hug from a grandchild. The encouraging touch of a friend. A kiss from one’s sweetheart. The feel of opening a new book.
Hearing. The enthusiastic harmony of a congregation singing, How Great Thou Art. The chatter of a child. A phone call from a friend living far away. The wind rustling leaves in a tall oak. The whistle of a cardinal.
Smell. The scent of freshly plowed ground or cut grass. The fragrance of a lily or the earthy pungency of a forest glade after rain.
How very kind of our Heavenly Father to have kept me from great wealth lest my appreciation for simple things become jaded. No costly caviar nor expensive wine for me: better a burger on the barbie and a fresh-brewed cup of coffee, the sight of towering storm clouds or a rainbow after rain.
Lord, take envy far from me. Instead give me the good sense to enjoy the pleasures you have spread all around me—the simple pleasures of life.