I know, I know. I should REALLY be in bed by now, especially what with the blasted “spring forward” time change.
But sometimes, when you’re caught up in the exuberance of the moment, you have to let yourself just keep free falling into All The Good Things.
It’s kind of like Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, my life, that is. I went to Farrell’s for the first time tonight (at like 10pm), and let me tell you, Farrell’s is the embodiment of the All the Good Things: heaping ice cream sundaes (we don’t even need to say anymore than that, really), balloon mermaids and guns and monkeys on palm trees, singing and dancing servers twerking to a dessert-themed parody of Baby Got Back, mustache vests, random drum beatings, and candy for days.
Farrell’s is like this little bit of divine creamy goodness, a circus for the senses that dropped out of heaven and landed right here in little ole Riverside for reasons no one could ever really guess. And, I suppose, that’s how some things in my life are right now. And when that happens, you don’t complain. You sit, you take it all in, and you scream “More Party!”
Several months back, I asked, no, I begged Jesus to just give me one truly good thing. One thing that was just all good. So many things back then brought me pieces of joy because I saw good in the pain, I recognized the beauty in the ugly, and I felt the peace of redemption in the midst of suffering. But, these things, despite the good that could be found and even praised, still just had so much hard, and I was so weary of the hard.
And now, I don’t know how, and I certainly don’t know why, but God didn’t just bring Farrell’s into Riverside, He brought it into my life. It feels a lot like ice cream; there are some things that are just purely good right now. I have no idea how long they’ll last, how long I’ll get to call them mine. I know I’m not guaranteed tomorrow; my life is but a vapor. I know (as that one super challenging worship song says) “I am filled to be emptied again; this seed I’ve received I will sow.”
But, I also know that I can choose to be afraid of the day things will get hard again, because they will, that’s how this life works, or I can just choose to laugh and sing and dance at this Farrell’s life party and scream “More drum” and “Party time” and revel in the unadulterated happiness of it all. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still things in all the party that are hard, like the fact that I don’t sleep. But, Sleeplessness is Cancun for eight days with my best girlfriends in July. And Sleeplessness is a new Macbook Pro laptop. And Sleeplessness is a trip to Houston to visit my bestie for Spring Break, and concert tickets, and occasional shopping sprees at Nordstroms. Sleeplessness is paying off my credit card debt. I’m going to go ahead and call that All The Good Things as well.
I decided in all the pain, that I would not turn my back on Jesus any longer; that my life, no matter how hard, I resolved, would be to the glory of God. And so, if in the pain such were my resolutions, how much more now in the joy. I can be even more thankful too, for the seasons of pain, because they highlight the magnanimity of joy. And even if all life is is a season of unparalleled and alternating periods of joy and pain, and joy and pain, I know it will be more than alright. Because, All the Sad Things just make you appreciate All the Good Things even more, and makes them even easier to spot. And All the Good Things are so powerful that even when All the Sad Things hit again, they can be remembered in the pain with special poignancy, and bring hope that the sorrow really does only last for the night. I would argue, in fact, that if happiness happened all the time, it wouldn’t really be all that happy. I suppose it’s kind of like ice cream again. If everything tasted like ice cream all the time, well, ice cream really just wouldn’t be all that good.
So, Jesus, thank you. Thank you for ice cream, and beautiful, unexpected relationships, and friendships that endure and encourage, and second jobs that exhaust but provide. Right now, for as long as it is my right now, thank you for your grace on grace on grace. I guess, as it turns out, pain is not the only muse. And, I’m happy to be proved wrong about that.
Thank you, God, that, tonight I feel like I can truly claim the words in Jeremiah I’ve been waiting on You to claim. As I danced and sang and got silly in the car tonight, so much of the good parts of Old Becka came back, and I felt alive again, and I just want to proclaim this long awaited joy as Your goodness. You are good when It’s All the Good Things and You are Good when it’s All the Sad Things. Tonight, I’m just ever so thankful for All the Good Things.
“For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord… Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. … and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 31: 11-14