Let Go of That Balloon! (07.08.05--Joy Every Day--Ecclesiastes 11:1-6)
Carpe diem! Engraved in the keystone of the old fellowship hall I passed every day on my way to the office, I had glanced at it countless times. But on this particular day, with my youngest daughter in the car, her question prompted me to cast a second look. What does “Carp Dime” mean dad?” “That’s carp-ae dee-um.” I said. “It’s Latin for seize the day!” She looked at me quizzically for the rest of the answer. “Seize the day means to, well, hold on to it and wring every ounce of opportunity that you can out of it. Don’t let it go until you’ve made the best of every situation.” She seemed satisfied with the answer and continued watching the traffic. I, on the other hand, was left with a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. “Every opportunity? The best of every situation?” I may know the meaning but I was suddenly struck with the uneasy feeling that I didn’t understand the application.
“Seize the day!” Somehow it seems to me that this is probably what went through the mind of our Savior each morning as he awoke to another day of ministry on this earth. Time was short and the day was rapidly advancing when the work he could do here would be brought to end. “Carpe Diem!” What work needed to be accomplished must be done now. And, as importantly, what joy there was available in that “deum,” that day must, with an embrace, be brought into the heart, and, most importantly, shared with everyone in that day. The day was no time for slacking, whether that be in work or pleasure.
I remember reading about a conference at a Presbyterian church where people were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they felt that they weren’t free to say “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.” All through the service some balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased. The majority of the parishioners were simply afraid to let their balloons go.
The Bible tells us to “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.” When we work hard it is easy to see that our labors result in something concrete, a job accomplished, something improved or made better. Why is it that we don’t treat the joy in our day the same way. Casting it upon the waters of this life so that others can benefit from our smile, our good joke told well, our willingness to say “Hi!” to a stranger on our way. Today, seize the little joys that God puts into your life and share them with someone else. Let your balloon and “seize the day.”
“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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