Wednesday, January 18, 2017
I'd been out for a long walk, through playing fields and along a creek, and as I walked, I'd been meditating on how little what we possess shapes our happiness. I'd recently had the good fortune to be driving around in a powerful, sexy, amazingly fast car for a few days. That gave me pleasure. Yet here I was, on a briskly cool day, with just the legs God gave me and the bright sun overhead. Was I any more or less content?
The answer, as I considered it, was that I was not. A soul that is content can find contentment in simplicity, just as surely as it can find joy in riches. Those who have wealth are no less likely to feel unsettled and anxious of soul, no matter what pleasures and distractions they provide themselves. Once the body is fed and warmed and given purpose, contentment is not contingent on the objects around us. Just that "daily bread" should be enough, as the Master taught it. I felt that, as I walked, His indictment of our endless greed, of my own whispering acquisitiveness.
Then, as the morning's coffee began to catch up with me, I realized my contentment should lead me to the nearby restroom.
Where someone was singing, loudly.
The voice was affiliated with a tiny little guy, perhaps three, maybe three and a half. He was singing at the top of his lungs, as children of that age can do without fear of social approbation, while his dad helped him get his jacket zipped.
"JUST THE BEAAAR NECESSITIES, THE SIMPLE BEAR NESSESSANEES," he sang, evidently having seen a Disney Jungle Book video recently. "FERGEET BOUT YER WORRIES UM A STRIFE," he continued. "IT'S THE BEAAAR NESESSANEES, THE SIMPLE BEEEAR NETESATEES, FORGEEET ABOUT YOUR WORRIES AND YOUR STRIFE!" The song fragment, just on a circling earworm loop in the little boy's head, was directly connected to his vocal cords. "ITS USTJA BEAAR NECESATEES, THE SIMPLE BEAAAR NESSTETASTEES, FORGEETaBOUT YOUR WORRIES AND YOUR STRIFE."
So the song cycled, repeating and repeating, as his little hat was placed on his little head and little mittens on his little hands.
His father, roughly my age with a little more grey in his beard, gave me a tired look, and an apologetic smile, which was hardly needed. I smiled back, in the full knowledge that this song was going to be stuck in his head for a while.
As it had been in mine.