It's Day 9 in our 40 Days of Purpose study, and the chapter title is "What Makes God Smile?" Last Friday evening my husband and I went to our first small group meeting. There were eight of us present, a nice size for personal sharing and discussion, and an interesting mix of life stages and personalities. I'm looking forward to our next gathering.
When I read Robin Lee Hatcher's blog a few days ago, the connection with the current readings in The Purpose Driven Life struck me immediately. What makes God smile? It's when we joyfully and productively use the wonderful gifts, skills, and talents he's given us. Whether I'm doing laundry, practicing obedience training with our doggies, horseback riding, or working on my novel, I'm using God-given gifts and talents, and God loves watching me be me!
The bottom line, however, is my attitude as I'm performing these activities. I admit, I can feel pretty resentful as I lug another load of laundry downstairs, and I'm not exactly thanking God for the "opportunity." When I'm enjoying the wind in my face as I canter around the riding arena, God isn't usually at the forefront of my thoughts then, either. In fact, it frustrates me sometimes when I realize I haven't consciously thought about God one way or the other for hours at a time.
But when I do think of him, and especially when I remember he's smiling on me, enjoying me, even when I'm unaware of it, I experience a shiver of delight. It's how I imagine my children felt when they were younger, performing in a band concert or taking the starting block for a swimming event. Maybe for a fraction of a second they'd catch my eye and know I was watching them, cheering for them, supporting them. Then they'd turn their attention back to the task at hand and I'd be forgotten . . . but not really. Whether they consciously acknowledged my presence or not, they knew in their hearts that I was there, always would be, always loving and caring and waiting for that next smile while I kept my smiling eyes on them.
Oh, God, thank you for loving us like this!