Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Joy Set Before Me

I think I'd rather do just about anything but go to the roller rink this afternoon, but that's exactly where I'll be going.  I'm not a big fan of the roller rink.  It smells like third grade to me.  I didn't like third grade.   I know that sounds weird, but I remember going to the roller rink all the time in the third grade and it's honestly not much different today.  Carpeted walls.  KC and the Sunshine Band playing "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!".  The mirrored disco ball.  The hokey pokey.  The dice game.  Couples only.  That funky smell of the spray they use in the roller skates to "disinfect" them.  Yeah, it's still the same.

Third grade was tough for me.  I was overweight, totally insecure and nobody liked me.  During "couples only", I was always sitting, wishing I was out there skating with someone.  I wasn't exactly what you would call popular. I think it started when we were sitting against the wall at gym class and we had to sit "indian style" (it wasn't a politically incorrect thing to say back then).  Before I even knew it was coming, I "let one rip" (passed gas) and it thundered loudly against the wooden suspended floor in the gym.   Everyone looked at me "EWWW!!!  Gross!!"  It was the end of my reputation, if I ever had one.  Oh, do I feel for kids in grade school!  The only good thing about third grade for me was my friend, Jimmy.  He had a wooden leg.  I thought that was pretty cool.   I would sit with Jimmy at recess and he would teach me math since he couldn't play on the playground equipment like everyone else.  I liked Jimmy a lot.  But I hated third grade. 

Did you ever have a year like that?  An awkward, socially destructive, frustratingly difficult year?  Oh, it's the worst.  The only thing worse is seeing your child live through a year like that.  If I didn't know those difficult days were what God used to build so much of who I am, I'd give anything so my kids would not have to go through it at all.

Back to the roller rink issue at hand.  Why, you may ask, would I go to the roller rink this afternoon and subject myself to memories like that?  Because my kids love the roller rink.  They've been wanting to go for awhile and it's so hot outside today that I told them at 1pm I'd take them to the roller rink.  You'd have thought I hung the moon for them!  I suppose when you love someone deeply, sacrifice isn't much of a sacrifice at all.  At first I didn't want to go...but seeing their reaction and knowing the fun they will have has made my whole perspective change.  It brings me joy to see the joy in their faces!  I will go for the joy set before me!

What sacrifices have you made for those you love that ended up being a joy for you?  Did you know there is Someone who made a huge sacrifice for you - and it brought Him joy to do it?

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  Hebrews 12:2-3

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