We really need new gutters. Our gutter drips right above this place, and so this last storm combined with above-freezing temperatures created this massive icicle in our bush.
Sometimes, I feel like that gutter. As long as the storm is not overwhelming, I function fairly well. But bring in the “extra” and I quickly become overrun, dripping at my seams. Things don’t function quite properly and we end up with a mess.
My temptation is to focus on the split seam, the dripping water, the brokenness where there should be function. For instance, this past weekend, I totally dropped the program. I had two days of eating junk (not a lot of junk, but some), skipping my morning exercise, and neglecting to do anything at all in furtherance of my goals. This morning, I wanted to feel bad about it. I really did. As a perfectionist, I can be very self-critical. One “free day” is okay, but two – and IN A ROW – not so much. But I didn’t do it. I fought it. I got up, had my morning devotion, did my morning exercise, consulted my action items, and began the work anew. And I chose to focus, not on the dripping gutter, but on the beauty it created as it refroze in the bush.
You see, I spent the weekend eating popcorn and ice cream, and watching the original Star Wars Trilogy with my family. It was the first time for my seven-year-old. She watched a good portion of Return of the Jedi with her blanket over her head, (refusing to look at anything that could in any way be classified as yucky), and we had a really good time. So instead of focusing on everything I didn’t do, I smiled as I remembered the joy we created as a family.
That’s what it’s all really about, isn’t it? – Finding our Joy. Without joy, nothing we do matters. I can have a perfectly functional, even beautiful home – but if joy doesn’t reside here, I don’t want to either. So I will find my joy in the mess – in spite of the mess, in fact – even as I strive to change. I will not let my dissatisfaction with the way things have been turn to discontent. I will rejoice, I will work, and I will focus – not on the dripping gutters, but on the beauty they create.