standing Letters

I first noticed her as her mom was busy buckling her baby sister into the car seat. She couldn’t have been more than six years old. She was standing beside the car oblivious to what was happening around her. She was looking up and reaching out to catch the raindrops with her tongue as they were coming down.

The fact that her face was getting wet didn’t matter to her. It was the joy of catching a single drop on her tongue that brought delight to her soul. She was having fun. How do I know? Because in watching her, I was transported back in time. That was me standing there enjoying the raindrops on my tongue 50 years before.

Why is it that we lose sight of the simple pleasures in life as we get older? We stifle the curious and playful child within us. Could it be that we take life too serious? Could it be that we get too busy with what we are doing? Instead of looking at each day with joy and wonder, we develop tunnel vision and walk straight ahead. No wonder we get bored with life.

I was listening to the radio. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes came on. You know the song. The man is bored with his life and feeling unappreciated by his wife. He sees a personal ad in the paper. He responds and finds out the other person is actually his wife and she feels the same way. They laugh and realize how they had both taken each other for granted.

There is an old hymn titled, “Count Your Blessings.” It invites us to “count your many blessings, name them one by one. You will see all the things the Lord has done.” We need to live life like this. We need to enjoy the simple gifts that God has given us. We need to slow down, stick out our tongues and catch the mercy drops that are falling all around us.

We celebrate Independence Day this week. Why not claim your right to do something different this year? Take a page out of David Letterman’s book and create a list of the things you are most thankful for. Each day make it a point to note a blessing in your life. Then thank God. Can’t think of anything you’re thankful for?

Try this: Give yourself permission to do some things you haven’t done in a long time. Visit a tourist spot like the Mystic Seaport. Call an old friend. Invite them to take a walk. Go for a bicycle ride in the country. Stop thinking you are too old to have fun. Let that inner child come out. Enjoy every day. It won’t be long before you have a reason to thank God.

The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.

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