This morning I came to one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible – Luke 15 and the three “lost” stories – the story of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son. The reading today was just the first two (15:1-10) and tomorrow will be the longer story of the lost son. What struck me in the story was the joy and rejoicing in the finding of the sheep and the coin. Before reading it, I had just finished listening to an episode of Rob Bell’s podcast where he interviewed Richard Rohr (click here to listen – its amazing). One line made me pause it and just go over the line again and again in my mind. Rohr was talking about the struggle of finding joy and shared about the ways that we have all experienced how criticism sticks with us far longer than blessings. He simply said,
“If you don’t savor joy, then it doesn’t stay with you.”
I just kept going over and over that. And its so true. Its so true that we get the criticism or the bad news or the angry email and we ruminate over it for minutes, hours, days on end. Yet, the compliment we receive, the blessing we experience, the wonder that we see…we (or at least I) don’t often go over that again and again.
Its like taking the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin and saying, “great – we found that lost coin” but being angry about losing it rather than celebrating the finding. Its like the shepherd finding the one sheep but scolding it for getting lost in the first place. But I know that I do that so many times – yet what we have in these words in Luke are to find joy in the lost being found, in the wonder being experienced, in the life being restored, in the blessings that are around us.
Rohr threw out a number of dwelling on a blessing for at least 15 seconds when it happens to allow it to (my words) imprint upon us. I’m going to try that this week – to savor those times of joy and blessing and wonder and work to train myself to ruminate on them rather than ruminating on the frustrations that so often grab me.