There she was – her short little legs straight out in front of her as the swing rose and fell. When not swinging, those little legs were busy riding her trike, pushing her baby buggy, pulling her kitten in the wagon up and down the dirt paths that she had carved out in the yard, squatting in the sand box, or splashing in the pool. She made me think of a rare, exotic bird, full of life, hopping from limb to limb. She was a cheery little girl in a happy yard.
It was not a big yard. It was not a green yard – for not a blade of grass had survived her hectic activity. But there were three big oak trees. Hanging from the branches of one were two home-made swings: one of wood and the other an old tire. The second tree shaded both the sand box and the plastic blow-up pool. The third oak watched over the white play house with its red and white gingham curtains and window boxes filled with blue plastic flowers. What a yard!
I loved that yard. I loved seeing the beautiful round-faced little girl who played in the yard. She was there every day unless it was stormy or freezing cold. No TV, no video games, no computer for her; she was outside in the sunshine, breathing in the fresh air, using her body and her imagination – playing in her happy yard.
Do you live in a happy yard? Are you walking in the “Son”light of God’s love? Are you breathing in the fresh air of forgiveness? Are you using your talent and skills for works of righteousness? OR are you locked up in the dark prison of un-forgiveness, pride, anger, prejudice, and cynicism.
Un-forgiveness occurs when you are wronged. Your feelings are certainly warranted, but you still get to decide whether or not to forgive. To forgive means to grant free pardon and to expect nothing in return. Forgiveness is not disregarding inappropriate actions; therefore it is acceptable to defend yourself from further abuse. But you don’t need to hold a grudge to protect yourself. So go ahead, forgive.
Pride will fill you with arrogance, haughtiness, and conceit. It will puff you up to the point that you believe that you are better and smarter than others. The only way to destroy pride in your life is to spend time with God. It is only in Him that we can boast and take pride.
Anger is a negative reaction to disappointments, hurts, and criticisms. This means that ultimately anger is a matter of self control. Therefore if you hand over the reins of your heart to God giving Him control of your life, you will be able to defeat anger and have peace of mind.
Prejudice is the act of judging others without facts. Prejudice is simple to conquer, just follow the Golden Rule. Treat others like you want to be treated.
Cynicism is lack of trust. Do not let cynicism blind you to the faithfulness of God or the goodness in your fellow man. Walk with the Master and His grace will fill you with confidence and love.
Choose to walk in forgiveness, humility, peace, tolerance, and trust. Then you too, can live in a happy yard.
“ . . . .Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.“ Psalms 144:15