This was a good week for the people of Chile as they saw their 33 miners all rescued and returned to the surface of the earth after having been trapped underground since this past August. What a wonderful day for their families. I was particularly touched watching the young boy whose father came up first as he realized he really would see his dad again. Even the president of the country took time to greet each person as they came out of the rescue capsule and many people took the entire next day off from work in celebration. You could not help but be happy for these people and their families. It was almost as if we had one “happy” moment as a global family.
As I watched all of this, I realized that it does not take something as significant as my family being rescued from thousands of feet underground to make me happy. I am a blessed person and have many moments of joy everyday. With that in mind I decided to dedicate this blog post to some of things that bring a smile to my face. I warn you in advance, these are not earth shattering observations.
1. The Color Orange – I think God must have really enjoyed Himself when he came up with the color spectrum and knew that it would please us humans. Orange makes a great sweater, a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers for the table, a colorful lawn needing to be raked and pumpkin pie waiting to be eaten. It also is the color of the Philadelphia Flyers, but that is just an added bonus.
2. The Month of October in Philadelphia – when all of our sports teams are playing at the same time. The Flyers and Sixers seasons have just begun. The Phillies and the Union are finishing up (hopefully with a World Series win for the Phillies) and the Eagles are just hitting their mid season form.
3. A Perfect Fall Day – when you don’t need air conditioning and don’t quite need to turn the heat on yet. This is not just because of the cost savings (though that does make me smile too), but because it reminds me that even when we have extreme weather, there will always be a perfect fall day to look forward too.
4. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Chocolate Chip Pancakes – these ultimate comfort foods are pretty easy to make and not too easy to ruin. It always seems to bring a smile to my children’s faces and their hungry friends when Dad agrees to make them and it never seems to get old no matter how recently they have just had them.
5. Discovering a Great New Book or Author – it is deeply satisfying to hear about a great new book or author and then to actually get the book and read it. This is particularly true if I liked the book as much as the person who recommended it to me. It can lead to significant moments of meaningful conversation in the future as we discuss the ideas, characters or story that brought us so much delight as we read.
6. Hosting People for Dinner on Saturday Night – my wife and I like to have people over for dinner on Saturday night as often as we can, but with our busy schedules, it is not often enough (at least for me). The preparation for the meal as we decide what to serve often brings out a creativity in my wife that reminds me once again why I love her so much. The fun involved in getting to know new people or getting to know our friends even better can leave a smile on my face all weekend long.
7. Singing with a group – this may come as a bit of a shock to those who know that I cannot carry a tune. There is nothing like singing with a large group of people in a worship service who are singing a familiar song with abandon. I often think that this is a little like what heaven will be like one day when we all get to worship with unveiled faces.
God often does things in our lives to remind us of his goodness and faithfulness to us and yet we (that includes me) tend to focus on those things that have gone wrong or are the current obstacles in our path. How quick we are to forget the blessings of today while we obsess about the challenges ahead.