I wrote a post about the importance of getting outside of ourselves (and actually spending time outdoors). Naturally, there are days when this is impossible, for one reason or another. We have jobs, errands, obligations, and responsibilities. Today, I tried to spend time outside, but I spent the afternoon frustrated. I had the afternoon off and was feeling tired and spent, so I decided to visit a new-to-me park for a quick hike.
I got lost and couldn't find the park entrance for several minutes. Eventually, I found the entrance, paid the fee, and drove in. The park was an unfortunate-looking man-made lake and a parking lot with dozens of port-a-potties. I thought to myself I just wanted to have a fun afternoon outside at a pretty park and this is what I get? I just wasted five dollars on the entrance fee. (Cue the eye rolls, right? This is all meant to be tongue-in-cheek, as my self-talk can be rather dramatic). I got out of the car anyway, and decided I would stomp around for a bit and then head home. Before I had the chance to do so, Nicholas called me. In a whiney tone, I explained my distress and the injustice of it all. He calmly and cheerfully replied,
"Come home then, and we'll have some tea."
The metaphor was not lost on me. As trivial as my park example is, I'd argue the significance of the sentiment applies elsewhere in life. I need not stay in an ugly, frustrating place. I could choose to leave. I could choose to go home, make tea and cookies, and listen to a happy playlist on Spotify. I could choose to talk to a best friend on the phone for nearly an hour. I could, and I did.
But first, I needed the reminder not to wallow and stomp, even when all I see is injustice and ugliness. I needed the reminder that I can choose joy. To get outside (of myself), I really just needed to go home and have some tea and cookies.
Ironically, just before I wrote the aforementioned post about getting outside, I bought a banner to hang up in our home. The sentiment: Let's stay home.
Let's find our home in Christ's joy, so that even if life is ugly and frustrating at times, we have an anchor. Our circumstances will change, but the Lord won't.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Yes, this is the day—this is the Wednesday God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. And let us choose to leave the ugly parts of our hearts (and leave the ugly parks) to seek joy, even if it's in the form of tea, cookies, and resonating metaphors.