Sometimes in life we can feel like Joey. Joey is an orangoutang our family met at the zoo last week. For most of our visit with him he looked like the picture, bored, sad, depressed, and a little hopeless. Joey's fur was tangled and matted, and his head was balding. It seems like Joey didn't really care much about life. His situation: he's alone, it's hot, he has no food.
What about us? Many times we can describe our situations much like Joey's. In the midst of the COVID pandemic we could describe our situation as: desperate, no job, less money, fearful, bored, ready to move on, lonely, depressed, anxious, and ultimately tired. I've experienced many of those emotions and more in the past 15 months since we have been under continued quarantine and varying levels of restrictions.
Trying to plan vacations or even shopping trips with my kids is a nightmare, or a wish added to the "someday" list. I wish I could take my girls grocery shopping with me or we could eat in a restaurant. I really want to take them to the beach so they can experience it for the first time. I don't want to continue to live under the limitations, restrictions, and fears enforced by government. I'd like life to be a lot more free. Life kinda sucks sometimes. But...
Every day we have a choice. For example, I am not a morning person. I don't like to wake up earlier than 8am and usually have a bad mood if I have to face people before I fully wake up. As a mom, I've had to change my habits and attitudes. I find myself smiling more in the morning and looking forward to the day ahead. I am usually the one that peps up and encourages my girls to enjoy the morning. What brought about this transformation? A choice. I chose that I would start my days out right.
We are not so fond of the quarantine and added restrictions. We are very much looking forward to fulfilling the things on our "someday" list. Until then we are enjoying what we can. Last night we went for a drive, watched the sunset, and saw the city lights fill the night sky. It was simple, but fun. It became a memory that we can cherish, just like the several photos we take on our phones. These may not be the wishes to be fulfilled on our "someday" list but they are the little things we choose everyday to live in the joy of the Lord.
Life is hard. It is sad. There is so much to look forward to. But we have the choice to resign ourselves to our current feelings and the situation as we perceive it, or to have faith to find the joy in the simple things that God presents to us everyday, throughout the day.
Before we left, we saw Joey's mood improve and his stance change. Abby shook a can of snacks she had and he stretched out his hand for some. She tossed a couple his way and he pushed himself up into the sitting position and reached out for them. He found motivation to change his mood. He chose to get up and reach for something more.
May our motivation in choosing joy and peace be Jesus, His Word, and the Truth.