I have a friend named Joseph Williams. Joseph is a FOCUS Missionary who is now much more acclimated to the US than he was when I first met him. Joseph grew up in Africa, and is as tall and thin a man as I have ever met. We were at a meeting and the FOCUS Team was trying to figure out just who a particular girl was. Joseph was the only one who knew her. He was describing her as having glasses, curly hair and fat. The girls in the group gasped, and the leader exclaimed, “Joseph! you don’t call girls fat!”
He said, “Well, why not, in my country that is good! It means you are well. You have energy, will be able to have healthy babies, and you are FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF LIFE.” Joseph Williams, I love you.
Last week I experienced another example of a little one filled with the fullness of life. I was on home visit and my brother has a grandson who LOVES ANIMALS. The little tyke, who is not yet two, was at the zoo. (He happens to be a little blond fellow with a few curls, which took over a year to emerge, so they haven’t been cut yet, but soon. You get the picture, cute kid!) The giraffes were giving him absolute delight. He would hold the grass very still as the giraffe came to eat it out of his hand (zoo approved activity). As soon as the giraffe took the grass, the little guy jumped up and down over and over, giggled and was a picture of joy. Repeat the giraffe feeding and the second time the little guy rolled on the ground in the midst of the jumps, all with delight. His little body could hardly contain the joy! Repeat the gig until the giraffe gets full. That, too, is FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF LIFE.
May you find a few moments to enjoy life this summer. Sometimes that is not as easy as it sounds. We have to know ourselves: what gives you joy? Hopefully, we can find simple things that bring us to life. A friend of mine loves birds; she particularly enjoys the ones around her back porch. Good, simple joys of life. I’m praying you can find a few to praise the Lord for creating!
In this age of technology, we need to be careful where we get our dopamine. (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.) Professional game makers are getting all-too-good at delivering dopamine to kids through technology. I guess it isn’t just kids – all of us can engage there. Sometimes it isn’t inappropriate technology, but just engaging in the game can deliver the dopamine. (Fortnite? Be careful of your dosage.) A little isn’t bad, but too much consistently from the same place can lead toward addiction, especially in developing brains. May God guide and strengthen you in your role as parents. Who said this was going to be easy?
God bless you all. Thank you, Lord, for giraffes, curly hair, and especially for little children.
I’m going out to the garden. I enjoy it out there, especially with a good friend. We will find giraffes of our own. I’ll see you soon back at school. I enjoy it there too, most of the time!