Archive for October, 2011

Puddle Perspectives

October 22, 2011

Children sometimes view the world from a much different perspective. Take puddles for example. As an adult when I encounter a puddle my first two instincts are to either 1) find a manageable way around it or 2) to tread lightly through the water (if no way of escape is possible). Furthermore, as a parent, when I encounter a puddle while in the company of my children I desire that they too find an alternative route in order that we all might stay clean. However my children have an entirely different perspective: puddles are prospective fun. What I want to avoid they want to jump into. I see a mess; they see bliss.

Bliss… Change the one vowel and now it spells “bless.” I wonder if puddles can be perceived blessings. To me they seem more of a nusance that can cause clammy discomfort, stains, and laundering. I cannot see what it so fancinating with a small pool of cold and dirty water on the sidewalk. There is an obvious disconnect for myself and most adults (Gene Kelly excluded). My children (and most of the children I have observed) seem tickled to their core for an opportunity to splash about in a puddle. My daughters consider it pure joy when they encounter puddles of various kinds. And, after a delightful rain dance and their clothes drenched, they are simply happy. My daughters are not at all concerned by their appreance, nor the least bit uncomfortable with wet clothing. They have bliss. And they feel only blessed that I allowed them the opportunity to experience such joy.

This correlates to our Christian walk. The Christian life is to be one of joy. Jesus begins his great sermon with the Beatitudes (Luke 6:2-23). Some translations choose to translate the Greek word here as “happy” rather than “blessed” and justifiably so. Sadly some of us have distilled “blessed” into a religious expresson and in so doing removed happiness from its core. God has called us and in His first sermon He says we are called to be happy!

As anyone would tell you,  we all encounter various “puddles” on the Way of Life. It is not the puddle but our attitude that steals our joy. To be a Christian is to be a child of God and therefore the puddles should be viewed from their point-of-view. Notice the blessed puddles Jesus mentions. “Happy are you who are poor… who hunger now… who weep now… who are hated, excluded, insulted, rejected and called evil…” These puddles seem to be missing the bliss from our cultural perspective. How is hunger, sadness and rejection a good life? Ah, but from the perspective of a child of God, there is bliss in the puddles for which others fear to tread. We may dance in the rain of this world for we will reign with Him in the world to come. It is all in the perception. Suffering reminds us of what we truly value. Loss gives us the sense of value for what we had.

Join me in puddle jumping. Find the joy of the Christian way which does not skirt the potholes of life but enters into them and finds freedom where others may only see mess. Reexamine some of the difficult times you have experienced and see what valuable lessons, what new found friends, what encouragement, and what strengths were found in those episodes. Next time a puddle lays before you do not take the safe way around but jump in for therein lies a blessing.

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