“There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books” John 21:25 (The Message)
One Friday in late January, I was on my way to help chaperone my son’s dance when all of a sudden I was filled with thankfulness. I was also tired. I had spent four hours that morning traveling to several groceries stores searching for the best bargains, putting groceries away, grabbing lunch, and then leaving again. As I was driving, my knee was screaming at me. I realized standing for the next two to three hours probably would make it worse, but I was happy. I was feeling blessed to experience throbbing knees and an aching back. Then my thoughts went further and I was happy for stretch marks, a little extra cushion in places I wish it wasn’t, and wrinkles, sunspots, and a gray hair or two. Okay, maybe not so much for the gray hair.
You see, it was then I realized that all the above “discomforts” were really a blessing. It meant I was living life instead of sitting on the sidelines. A full life. Yes, there were lumps and bumps in places that used to be smoother, aches and pains in places I used to take for granted, and lines and wrinkles in undiscovered territory…but I wouldn’t change my journey. Has it always been fun? No, but what true adventure is only filled with laughter and fun? Most adventures, that you reminisce about with your friends anyway, are filled with the unexpected. That’s what makes them adventures. That’s what makes life worth sharing.
I believe God doesn’t want us to sit on the sidelines either. If you take a look at Jesus’ life while He lived on the Earth, He seized every opportunity He had to tell others about His Father’s love and how to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. While He made sure to take good care of His body, many times He preached all day long. That’s what I want to do with my own life. I want to take better care of myself so I remain healthy to continue living until I breathe my last breath.
And my happiness continued throughout the dance. I was in charge of pouring pop. It gave me a chance to practice some bartending skills, but the most fun was making a connection with middle schoolers. Some I knew previously while others I was meeting for the first time. I left there a lot more tired but also a lot more happy.
I ended up falling asleep early that Friday night, but it was with a smile on my face. Thankful for the chance to be a wife to a loving husband, mother to three terrific kids, part-time bartender of middle school dances, part time coupon-savvy grocery guru, and full-time Christ follower. I’m still working on getting healthier so I can fulfill my mission in life easier, but in the meantime, I’m thankful for the lumps, bumps, aches and pains.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014