Tucked away somewhere in our family home is a black and white sketch that frequents my subconscious. An elderly disheveled looking man with weathered face and hands contentedly draws the bow across the violin strings. My thoughts are not taken to where he might be standing or for whom he is playing, but the look of joy on his face as the voices of cords and wood filter into the air. That expression brings to mind a quote by Sarah Young from her devotional book, Jesus Calling,
When you let others’ expectations drive you, you scatter your energy to the winds.
This aged gentleman is not concerned about others’ enjoyment of his performance, but the pure pleasure of producing a joyful sound.
I must find this sketch for my office wall as a reminder that joy is found within oneself not from outside circumstances.
If you read my About page, you know I am not a fan of baking but love to cook. Baking feels somewhat restrictive with its exact measurement of ingredients, where cooking allows for uninhibited creativity. This makes mixing flavorful and aromatic spice and herb blends so attractive and shopping at a favorite Mennonite store pleasurable because of their abundant supply of inexpensive herbs and spices, especially those not carried by the more popular grocery store chains. You have heard the saying, “like a kid in a candy store.” Well, that is me smiling and wide-eyed as I choose the next savory item for my spice cupboard. While I review a dry onion soup mix recipe I received from a friend, I cannot help but think of the two women who after Jesus’ death began preparing several pounds of spices for His burial. (Mark 16:1-2) What were they thinking? In their memories of their dearly loved friend, did they marvel at how mundane their existence was prior to His influence? Did they realize the flavor of joy in their lives, the spice of life, was possible only by the presence of Jesus who gave life meaning (and continues to) by winning the victory over everything that was against them? (Psalm 16:8-11, John 19:25-30) Do you have the spice of life? (John 3:16-18)