Karen has some of her longest and favorite friends (unfortunately not all were able to make it down this year) in for a few days.  They all grew up together in the same neighborhood called Scenic Hills in Memphis.  They gather at least once a year just to be together, check in and catch up.  (There are numerous calls throughout the year but the gathering is special because they’re together.)  It is delightful to witness their seamless friendship. The spouses were invited this go around and that’s a bonus.  We all have our particularities (excluding me) and political leanings (including me) and still our differences don’t matter because they (we) care deeply for one another. It’s delightful.  So I’ve been tarrying with the concept of delightful because part of me needs to sit in the goodness of my life, my community and this creation. Amidst all that we’re dealing with (and for some of you who personally have difficult struggles going on in your life) affirming the power of delight will help.  I’m not trying to manufacture any false feeling to deny reality. That’s not helpful or healthy. The invitation is to notice the goodness in your life. To be surprised with delight in the middle of the mess. Slow it all down, pause, pray and be surprised to see some goodness.  In Rick Hanson’s book, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence he explains that “our brains don’t automatically recognize the good for two reasons.  First, there isn’t a stimulus to catch your attention usually in something good.  There’s no threat, no fear, nothing to make your brain take notice.  Your brain doesn’t automatically note all the bad things that didn’t happen. Second, through a process called habituation, your brain filters out the run-of-the-mill happenings that don’t change every day whether it’s the refrigerator’s constant hum or, thankfully, the routine absence of major disasters in our daily lives.”  I’m delighted that the friends have gathered together because they help me notice the goodness of life.

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:8
“So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.”

Reflection Questions:
What is wearing you out from seeing goodness?
Who helps you notice the goodness of life?
How are you sharing yourself with others?

Prayer: Holy God, let my heart and head be filled with delight for all the many people I have in my life, who make me better and help me to do better.  Amen.