Emily stands tall at her desk, right hand pinching the corner of a zippered plastic bag. Plunk, clack, plunk–colored wooden pattern blocks drop in a kaleidoscopic jumble in the bag.
“This was so much fun, Mrs. C! It’s the most fun we’ve had all year!”
The most fun they’ve had all year.
I’m not sure whether to rejoice with she and the other 3rd graders or be heartsick about what she doesn’t say, “We’ve been in school for seven months and this is the first time we’ve had fun.”
As an elementary school guest teacher, I often take the chance to veer from the normal day, bend the rules a bit, put away paper and pencils and break out the pattern blocks. I know children remember first and best by DOING–learning is fun ’cause that’s how they’re wired.
The joy in Emily’s voice gives it away–this play that is really work? She’s pretty sure school SHOULD be fun. This is what kids were made for–creating, stacking, sorting–colors colliding and contrasting while their minds race with possibilities.
The creativity comes out of them like water from a spring–they KNOW joy when they see it–even if there’s just this one taste.
Isn’t that what it’s like when we’re in God’s presence? When we feel His touch after a season of distance or dryness?
I’ve been floundering for months, searching in the ‘in between’ of my days to find any length of time to just sit and be….to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice, to soak in God’s presence. I grab moments at my desk at home or on the kitchen stool, share at our small group, sit out on the deck with a cup of coffee for a bit.
A touch at church through the words of a friend or during quiet worship. The sound of a bird’s sweet call outside the window, a glimpse of Jesus revealed in His word. The drip of sad/happy tears when God is moving.
My spirit’s true home is there. I know it when I feel it.
We were made for something more, wired for joy and creating–messy, busy creating, just like a child, delighting in our Father and what He has to show us.
Remembering the time of a gentle touch, a quiet word, an ‘I love you’ deep down in my knower is what keeps me going. Rare tho’ it be when I am dry, I remember the water.
5 thoughts on “A Pattern for Joy”
Oh, we find them when we are listening and looking–I know God longs to send some love your way. Yay!
This positively made me relax with a sigh, at the end of a busy day. I'll be looking for “Aha's” tomorrow. Love you!
I love that phrase, “drops of Ah-Ha's.” So often, that's been my experience, too. I am moving through the day, perhaps completing a mundane task like dish-washing, and God will suddenly reveal his presence–through a butterfly dancing just outside the window, through a flurry of cheerful bubbles whooshing out of the JOY (!) dish detergent bottle, or a song on the radio. And you are so right: “those gentle touches, quiet words, and 'I love you' deep down in my knower are what keep me going,” too. Thank you, Jody!
Thank you, Lisa. I learn a LOT when I'm teaching. Isn't that always the case?
We are wired for joy. Yes! I believe that wholeheartedly. Sometimes we have to hear things from kids again to remind us of things we already know. Beautiful analogy, Jody.