Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 13: Top 10 (Things That Bring Me Joy)

First, on the topic of numbers, let me start by reassuring you. If you are nervous today because it is the 13th day of 2013, you may be suffering from triskaidekaphobia. Which is, fear of the number 13.

For me, the number 13 doesn't hold any particular significance. There are quite a few numbers in the Bible which hold significance, but there is a fairly large gap in these significant numbers, between 12 and 40. So, 13 really shouldn't be any worse than 14 or 15.

But I digress ... because I'm here to talk about the number 10. Here are the top 10 things that bring me joy, done Letterman style:

10. The natural beauty that God has created around us here in the Pacific Northwest. I love to get out in the forest and hunt exotic mushrooms, or just hike (or bike) the ridges and paths of local mountains. Those rare times (like now) when it's too wet or cold to do much outdoors, are the times I realize how much I am missing by not being "out there."

9. Great food and drink ... I have been blessed by so many really good cooks among my friends and family, and enjoy cooking myself, discovering new recipes, winemaking, etc. ...

8. Being physically fit, getting out on the bike and eating up the miles and enjoying the wind on your face, and that feeling of exhilaration by achieving a physically demanding goal, that surge of adrenalin when you are working your hardest, and ending up your ride without any serious injury ... that's a rush.

7. Having wonderful books to read, movies to watch, music to listen to. We so take for granted the wealth of incredible investment in what has been written for our growth and performed for our enjoyment and inspiration. I spend so much of my time expanding my horizons by exploring all the various worlds that are afforded to my by a good book, movie, or song.

6. Making a decent living at a profession I feel I am good at, working for a company that is doing good in the world and creating meaning and purpose behind the contribution I make with the sweat of my brow. (Well, since my job is more cerebral than physical, I don't mean that literally, but figuratively!) I still can't believe I'm paid to work on social media / communication. That's just plain fun.

5. Brothers and sisters in Christ ... our lives are very full with the fellowship of the saints. Many are young adults who spend a lot of time in our home each week as a part of the young adults group my wife and I pastor. They are a great group of brothers and sisters and make us both feel young again. Hanging out with the saints is one of my favorite things.

4. Giving ... knowing something that I've given up, either time or money or convenience or something else, has been a blessing to another person.

3. Family ... I love being a dad and husband. Now that my kids are grown and have flown the coop, while I still enjoy spending time with them, I recently have discovered anew what a thrill it is to have a granddaughter who adores me. You're never too old to play and giggle and experience together the wonder of being new to the world.

2. The love of my wife. We set aside time (usually on Saturday mornings) just to be together and to talk and to enjoy each other's company. After 33 years of marriage, she still knows how to make my heart go pitter-pat.

1. Experiencing the wonder and beauty of the Lord in a new way. This often happens (as it did today) during a worship song being sung at church, or just strummed on the guitar in the privacy of my home, or sitting in the jacuzzi and listening to a worship channel I've built on Pandora. Or reading His Word and having that sudden, dawning realization that something I just read was directed straight to my heart by the Holy Spirit. The best and truest kind of joy is the kind that we will experience for all of eternity as we gather around the throne and worship the Lamb who is worthy!

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