So, as we were driving around a roundabout (well you don’t go across them do you!) my daughter shouted from the back, ‘OOH CARPETRIGHT’. She said it with the same kind of enthusiasm that you would expect from an ‘it’s my birthday tomorrow’ or ‘I can’t wait until Christmas’.
It was definitely one of the highlights of a very long day. We had set off from my parents house in Scotland 9 hours earlier and after a lot of driving, traffic jams and a lovely walk (yes, there was geocaching involved) we were only 1 hour away from my in laws.
We needed fuel and so we had pulled off the motorway to fill up (we saved around 12p a litre compared to the price we paid with the price at the nearby motorway service station, a definite win).
The day had gone well, but we were all tired and so when the ‘OOH CARPETRIGHT’ was heard it really made us laugh and it lifted us.
It turned out that my daughter had looked on the Carpetright website for a school project to decorate a room (it was only an imaginary room though, sorry carpetright). This helped me make some sense of the enthusiasm, but not the scale of her enthusiasm. It made me realize again what a wonderful place that a child’s mind can be, the happiness and joy that exists there and the pleasure that they can find in the simplest things.
I was reminded of Jesus’ saying that we have to become like little children to enter into his Kingdom. Life can be really serious and hard work and I wonder if part of what Jesus was saying was that we need to regain our joy and innocence to enter his kingdom. A part of the fruit of the spirit (what God’s presence creates in us) is joy. It’s not that we have to try harder to be joyful, but that knowing Jesus and having his presence in us should lead to us being more joyful in a natural way.
My daughter had been in the car for several hours and she had every reason to be grumpy, but her joy shone through in that moment.
How about us? In our grumpy moments will we let the joy that we have received from Jesus shine through ?
Sometimes, instead of saying GRR, will we say OOH? Instead of despairing and looking down will we look up with wonder?
It is so good to know that when the pain and the stress is too much we can call on God in the same way that a child runs to a parent and we can receive his comfort.
So, as we drive through our journey of life, will we look to God and let him transform us so that we can journey through life in a meaningful and fulfilling way?
If you want to think more about joy, you might want to read Joy is better than happiness.