The Time Is Now! (07.07.05--Joy Every Day--Ecclesiastes 7:13-14)
I stood in front of the used book shelf for what seemed like the longest time holding two books. The one, an anthology in nearly new condition seemed too good to pass up. Even though it contained much of the same material that several other volumes I already owned contained, it was at a bargain price and it still had its original book jacket. In the other hand, a very shabby, old book that had seen better days. It’s cover was barely hanging on and there was some worm damage evident in places. Yet, thumbing through its yellowed pages, I got the distinct impression that there were treasures hidden among those leaves. The price was probably a bit high for its condition; yet, I decided to buy them both.
I use both books to this day. Both sit on my office library shelf. I enjoy just taking the newer book out and moving my hands over the smooth cover. It just feels good to own it even though I don’t often dig too deeply into it. Nevertheless, I am glad to own it because it just gives me pleasure to open it and browse through it. The other book? Its binding is taped and I need to be careful turning the fragile pages. Yet, I find myself using it often, even though it would never be my first choice. Both books give me joy, each in their own, distinctive way.
Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their “misery dinner” It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm’s funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that “the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week.” Her courageous act rallied the family. (Christopher News Notes, August, 1993)
The Bible tells us that “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14) Like those two books, God gives us those wonderful, new and “smooth” days filled with good things and happiness. And, if we think about it, those days often far outnumber the “rough” days; so much so that we even become a little jaded to them. Yet, they are appreciated and the joy they give us is a necessary ingredient to living a good life. But those “rough” days? On the surface there isn’t much they offer in the way of “appearance” or “convenience.” Nevertheless, like that musty old book, if we look within their tattered covers, there are treasures to be found. It is simply a matter of being predisposed to know that joy is both experienced and discovered. There really is no time like the present to be happy; since the present is a gift, a real joy, no matter how it comes wrapped.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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