We seem hell-bent (I mean it literally!) on having a good time in life, even in our churches. The word “sacrifice” no longer exists. I don’t mean it in the sense of sacrificing a bull on the altar, but in the sense of sacrificing what we feel is an immediate need (which is probably a luxury) for some common sense. I’ve had to quit perusing sales brochures because when I glance at them I feel I need this product, now. That’s what advertising is for, to whet our sated appetites for even more of what we don’t really need. It’s quite an art. The beat of the drums goes on and on, too. I haven’t taken the time to time the ads during a one-hour TV show, but I’ll bet it’s at least a third of the hour anymore. And the ads get dumber and dumber (an understatement!). As Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does” and if we rush out to get the latest gimmick, well then…!
What started this train of thought is the following: "A happy life is not built up of tours abroad and pleasant holidays, but of the little clumps of violets noticed by the roadside, hidden away almost so that only those can see them who have God's peace and love in their hearts; in one long continuous chain of little joys; little whispers from the spiritual world; little gleams of sunshine on our daily work. So long have I stuck to nature and the New Testament I have only got happier and happier every day" (Edward Wilson).
Whatever happened to the small and wonderful joys of life? I so like this quote from Dr. Charlotte Kasl, who wrote something that really touched my heart and made me realize that we take too much for granted in our lives: “So next time you sit down to a simple supper, crawl into a cozy bed, have a warm chat with a friend--Imagine that you are at the end of the rainbow...this is life, and it’s wonderful.” Imagine, being at the end of the rainbow all the time, simply because we realize that it is indeed the ordinary things that are so extraordinary!
If I cannot be a pine in God's forest, I may be a tiny flower to send forth the fragrance of Jesus in this world of sadness (Anonymous).
The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling (Coleridge).
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasion, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony (William Henry Channing).
We ought all to be content with the time and portion assigned to us. No man expects of any one actor in the theatre that he should perform all the parts of the piece himself: one role only is committed to him, and whatever that be, if he act it well, he is applauded. In the same way, it is not the part of a wise man to desire to be busy in these scenes to the last plaudit. A short term may be long enough to live well and honorably (Cicero).