“…’T is a glorious world down here below; Why wait for happiness till we are dead?”“The Jolly Old Pedagogue” by George Arnold
This is from a poem about an old schoolteacher who was, well, jolly. He loved teaching, loved children, loved visiting with people–pretty much loved everything. He was a happy man and he urged others to be happy, to enjoy life here below.
And I’ve got to say I agree with his viewpoint.
We should live life to the fullest, loving every moment, thrilling in the ordinary, being content with little and yet having much (in things that are actually important, such as friends and good memories and joy, etc.).
Because it’s a glorious world here below.
Yes, it’s a broken, fallen, hurting/hurtful world. A world strayed away from its Maker. A world where divorce is almost expected after marriage, where abortion and murder is commonplace, where owning-three-large-homes millionaires pass by and ignore homeless bums. A world where the entire creation is groaning in pain (Romans 8:22).
But it’s a glorious world. A world filled with flowers and waterfalls and thunderstorms and sunshine. A world where people can travel their whole lives and still not see everything, where people thousands of miles apart can communicate with each other, where there’s so many freedoms, so many languages, so many abilities/talents, so many different colors and looks and personalities. A world overflowing with lovely things to be thankful for, things to enjoy, things to surprise and delight you, things to store in your “treasure box” (literal or mental).
“Why wait for happiness till we are dead?” Why go through life with a long face, sighing for the day when God makes everything new and perfect? Why wait to be happy until we’re walking the gold streets and singing with the angels?
To be clear, we should long for Heaven, for the day when we see Jesus face-to-face. We should look forward to our new and much-more-glorious Home. We shouldn’t immerse ourselves in the world and all the things going on in it.
But God created this earth–and people–to bring Him glory. To point us to Himself. To show us who He is and what He can do.
And if we don’t enjoy it, if we only see the bad, if we have a ho-hum attitude–does that give Him glory? Does that remind us of and open our eyes to all that He is and does?
We walk with our heads down, blocking out the beautiful and amazing things around us, ignoring all the lives that could touch us or be touched by us if we only payed attention. Do you think that pleases God? Do you think He looks down and sees us and goes “Oh, look! He/she is totally missing out on and not appreciating the unnecessary blessings I’ve provided. Way to go! Come here, angels, let’s give them a round of applause because they’re doing such an awesome job!”
Of course not! (If He does, then it’s done in a very sarcastic manner.) (Do you think God is ever sarcastic? I mean, He created people that are sarcastic; so is He? Anyway, bunny trail; return to the main road, Julie.) I believe God wants us to enjoy the things He’s created, the things He’s made possible for us to have. I know for sure that He doesn’t want us to be a down-in-the-mouth, always-seeing-the-glass-as-half-empty, totally-ignoring-the-life-we-have-here-while-wishing-for-the-life-to-come person!
We are His witnesses to the lost. His letter to the unsaved. His candles to the ones living in darkness. If we’re like the person described in the above paragraph, will they want to be saved? Want to join the Family? Will they believe us when we say Jesus gives joy?
It’s a glorious world here below, with much to enjoy and praise God for. Why wait to be happy until we’re dead and gone?