So this is how the other half lives? I mean the folks that have been blessed to retire. Today was the first day of the regular week of my stay-cation. I started the day with a couple of devotionals and some quiet time…you know where, yes on the back porch. What can I say? It’s like my sanctuary. God and I meet there.
If you’re a coffee drinker, you know the feeling of that first sip in the morning when the coffee is just right. You can just ease into it and appreciate the smoothness. On my continuing journey to joy this week, I chose to resume the physical exercise routine that I had let slip for the past few weeks. Isn’t it funny that when your life gets crazy, the first thing that goes is routine? For me, the journey to joy required that I reconnect with routines that work for me. I don’t mean rote routines. I mean routines that bring a feeling of peace, consistency, and comfort.
The more I travel on this journey to joy; I realize that it’s the little thing that you have to pay attention to that can make a big difference. I’ve have an off-again-on-again love-hate relationship with my diet and my weight. One thing I do know is that changing the little things can make a big difference. If I start to cheat on my workout by reducing my set of repetitions from three to two or if I put on lesser weight plates than I know I can should to push my body, I can tell. My workout gets easy and less impactful because I’m not giving it my all. It’s the same in my relationship with God. A lazy approach to my routine of relating to Him achieves a lackluster relationship…i.e., less joy. It can become dull and tasteless.
We were discussing fasting and prayer in our devotional group this morning, and it was highlighted that in the Old Testament, the followers were under the law and fasting was all about repentance, mourning or deep spiritual need. However, in the New Testament, we are no longer under the law. Jesus took care of that work on the cross so that we could live in freedom and not in bondage. We get to experience the fullness! In today’s time, fasting and prayer can be about so much more, such as deepening our desire to know God more and celebrating the promises we have been given. But so often we pull ourselves right back into Old Testament thinking and don’t allow ourselves to experience life and joy to the full. In other words, we don’t allow ourselves to live in the freedom gained at the foot of the cross.
God wants us to have a relationship with Him that is robust, sensual, and fulfilling. Psalm 34:8 encourages us to “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Tasting and seeing require us to use our senses. This isn’t a free pass to eat a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts; of course, these would taste good! And I firmly believe those sugary delights are straight from Heaven! I sensed God saying to find and keep joy, it is absolutely essential to taste and fill on His word. Let it satiate my palate. Chew on it and see His goodness. When I’m full of Him, I can only experience the world with joy as He intended.