Recently a really wonderful fact dwelt on me and that is that we are made for the purpose of joy. As a North West team, we were asked what it means to be a disciple and we came to the conclusion that being a disciple is pursuing the happiness of God and living in the overflow of what he has done for us. Isn’t that wonderful? To be able to sit here and say that our purpose is for joy? That we have God-given days of rest just to enjoy his creation. And what better time to appreciate this than a sunny bank holiday?
A lot of people say that there is a big difference between joy and happiness. You can have a real deep-seated joy without feeling happy all the time. I firmly believe this is true however if your joy never leads you to happiness or rejoicing, surely there must be something amiss? And, as I said, what better time to rejoice than a gloriously sunny bank holiday, and how rare that we would have two in a row. I love bank holidays because they always seem so full of spontaneous fun. While we tend to have some kind of days off on a weekly basis, a bank holiday always seems to be wonderfully surprising. Like we’re just not quite ready for that extra dose of joy and when it hits us, there’s nothing better. Someone told me recently that every Sunday (or sabbath day) should feel like a bank holiday. While sadly this isn’t always the case, they are at least a great reminder of what we were created for and these little bonus days for me were the climax of that.
Firstly a day of sun out in one of my favourite places, not just in the Lake District but possibly anywhere, Grasmere. A merry road trip, a long splash and paddle in the river, a taste of Grasmere gingerbread and walking along to the majestic background of the mountains. This is creation appreciation in a nutshell. It was wonderful, it was childish, it was perfect. A day to simply escape everything else, to take pleasure in without another care or worry. When I thought that was the pinnacle of satisfaction, we were blessed with another beautiful day. BBQ and Pimms in the garden, playing in the paddling pool and a fabulous walk down the canal. The kind of time where you don’t even need to talk, you can just walk along, listening to the sounds of creation, knowing that this day truly is gift. I came back tired, muddy and slightly bruised but 100% satisfied. Simple pleasures with good friends that bring exponential happiness. These are the best days. These are what I call eternity moments. The kind of pure, unadulterated joy you wish could last for eternity and know someday will. The kind of joy that gives us a hope for the future. The kind of joy we were created for.
While not every sabbath day has quite the same care-free, cheerful abandonment of a bank holiday, it is a reminder of who we are. To think we were made on day six of creation, meaning our first experience of this world was rest. Rest and enjoyment of the creation. That every day in creation has a clear beginning and end, except day seven, the day of rest. That is our goal, to love and delight in the Lord for all he has given us. Every day we have so much to be thankful for. So often I walk around blind to this, but so grateful I am for the days where you can’t help but be thankful for the wonderful world we live in. 🙂