Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Best Things in Life are Free

You've heard it before. 

It' true.

The best thing in life really are free.

They are also often overlooked.


Cats. They are everywhere, and the most affectionate one I ever had I rescued out of a tree. His name is Luvie and since I lately wrote about him, let's talk about some other free things.

Sunrises. Recently, Forrest and I did hi 30-30-30 Run. We left early. Very early. I thought, at least one benefit of getting up this early is we will get to see the sun come up. Three years ago for his 27th, we did 27 miles and started way way before daylight. At the time, I wasn't happy about rising at the ungodly hour of whenever thirty it was, but when the sun began to paint a bright orange picture on the canvass of the sky, I thought, wise choice, son, wise choice. The sight of that divine artwork alone was worth the price of admission so to speak. Fastforward to this year's birthday run and I once more grumbled when I rose from bed at 4:10 am. At least we will have a sunrise, I thought. But alas, the day was cloudy and instead of a gorgeous rising of Old Man Sol, there was only a slow melding of night into light. What a ripoff. Maybe next year.

Coffee. OK, coffee is not actually free, but God put it on earth freely to bless us and I have often thought that to not partake of this heavenly gift is to be unthankful, ungrateful, spurning a free gift from the universe's creator. I am thankful for the bean and I show God so everyday by drinking a quart or more of the magic bean elixir. I don't know what else I can do to show God how grateful I am for His creation.

Dogs. Specifically, I speak of dogs who don't know you but wag their tail when you run by their house. There are mean dogs and nice dogs. I like nice dogs, and I have noticed that there are more sweet ones than angry, aggressive ones. I have encountered some canines who were mean enough to bite themselves. But most representatives of man's best friend are happy, overjoyed even just to be around people. I like that. Even those who protest with some barking when you jog by their property, do so because it's their job not because they want to bite a human leg. I can appreciate that.

Good health. Although I am extremely health conscious, from time to time I realize that I take good health for granted. My dad was a health nut so naturally I absorbed that from him. As I have aged, my mom's failing health has made me even more aware that being well and fit and inestimable gifts we should bee thankful for and tell God that every day. Lord, if I missed any days (I know I have), forgive me.

Air. we don't even notice that it's free until we have have a low tire on our auto and have to fish quarters out of the ash tray to feed the machine. Air is no longer free at the gas station, but the invisible elixir of life that goes in and out of our lungs is free for us to live on. And we never even notice. Only when we become short on breath do we even become aware that we breath.

Bird music. I'm convinced that God's free music in the air is one of the most under appreciated of God's good gifts. The Bible says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh from above and cometh down from the father of lights with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning. Take a moment the next time you are outdoors and turn your radio on. You can almost always hear wild birds doing what God placed them on earth to do: add beauty to our world and music to our souls.

Imagination. Some people seem to have more of this that other people do, but I believe God gave us all a good dose of it. Unfortunately, the troubles and trials of life tend to kill out this blessed addition to our souls. With imagination, we can come up with games that make like interesting. Have you noticed that the people in America who make the most money play games. They get paid to play games. I don't earn pay from the games I play, but they add joy to my life and cause me to dream, scheme, and strive to fulfill the goals I imagine. Swimming, running, writing and just a few of the areas where imagination enriches life for me. Let it enrich life for you also.

Hope. The Bible says, "Now abideth faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love." I'll talk about love later. Maybe. But hope is another of the treasures God has placed within our hearts. It's not a thing, it can't be touched, held, felt, but it's absence is felt. I have had friends who were depressed because of a lack of hope.

Happiness. Is. A. Choice. That's what some people say. I'm not sure we can always be happy, but if we choose to be so, we are a lot better for it. For instance, some people make an effort to look on the dark side of everything. I learned long ago, that if I focused on my problems, I hit rock bottom in a hurry. There are a lot of things that go on around me everyday that I don't like. Some of them are infuriating even. But when I am tempted to set my gaze upon my problems, I do one of two things or both. First, I remember the problems I had before I made a career change. I'll take my current problems over my former ones any day of the week.

Adventure. It was an graduate English class. Chaucer I think but I have forgotten what brought the question on, what men want. Since I was the only male in the room, the prof turned to me and said, "We have a man right here. Let's ask him. What do men want?" 

I didn't hesitate but immediately answered, "Adventure."

Little boys dream of adventure. Grown men sometimes die for adventure. Someone literally did that recently somewhere down around the South Pole (Henry Worsley). I'm not sure what it is in us that drives us to seek out excitement, but we swim channels, climb mountains, jump out of airplanes, hunt dangerous game. Even the most sedentary of us at least do it vicariously through movies, sports, and reading. Women get in on the act too. One of my favorite blogs is Jill Outside Her lust for adventure keeps me coming back to read her posts week after week after week. Check her out. If you have that adventure gene, you may have just found your favorite reading spot.

Forgiveness. The Bible is pretty clear on this one. We have to give it to get it. But laying aside biblical truth, I think the people who study our brains and our behavior tell us that unforgiveness is pretty destructive to a happy, well-adjusted life. Someone[s] suggested that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Maybe it's unfortunate that we get multiple chances to test this out in real life. Somebody is going to do you wrong. But remember that you don't have to get anybody back. That's God's job: "Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD. I will repay." And He will. I've seen it.

Heaven. It's not free, but it's paid for. Jesus took care of the cost a long time ago. Thank Him for it. It's only polite.