“Pure joy”, was the response Tiger Woods gave when he won for the first time in over two years. It was the 72nd win of his professional career, mind you. Only two other men in professional golf can even claim such a number of wins. And while many men make a very nice living without ever actually winning a tournament, just playing well and making a nice living is not enough for Tiger Woods. Winning is what he expects and apparently what brings him pure joy, so I like his response. He didn’t say, “What a relief to win again”; he said, “Pure joy”. You’ve got to respect a winning attitude.
Think about what brings you pure joy. It could be anything: spiritual or natural. What do you absolutely love to do? What is it that brings this phrase to mind: “there is nothing I’d rather be doing at this very moment!”? Maybe it’s that tug you feel when you know you just hooked a fish. How about bowling a strike, or the impossible looking spare? Watching your kids or grandkids kick a goal, make a basket, or get a base hit. Having a great conversation with an old friend; witnessing a spectacular sunset. There are special moments in life you look forward to repeating whenever possible.
I have come to thoroughly enjoy riding my Harley. It’s completely different than any other part of my life. I can do it all by myself or with friends. I was on one of my all-by-myself rides a couple of weeks ago, enjoying an Alabama Spring day (including the billows of yellow pollen my “outlaw bandana” protected me from) exploring roads I’d never taken. I thought to myself, “This is absolute pleasure.” I came to an intersection, looked on my phone to see where I was (gotta love GPS), and decided to take the even longer road to get home. Pure joy.
And then the Lord spoke to me. (It’s one of the things I love about riding. I’m never actually alone even on my all-by-myself days; I’m just the only one visible on the bike). “You know how much fun this is for you? Would you like to know what one of My favorite things is? Do you want to know what brings Me absolute pleasure?” He said. “I get pleasure bringing you prosperity!” Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. (Ps 35:27) Right there, while I was experiencing that “no place I’d rather be right now” moment, I saw how completely giddy He is over prospering His children! It’s what God does for fun!
When I started to think about it a little more, it really made me smile. It’s easy to think that it’s all business with God, that He prospers us solely because He is contractually obligated to do so. But if that’s our perception, if we don’t realize how much He enjoys it, our natural response would be to come reluctantly to Him rather than boldly when there is a need. Religion has instilled the thought in humanity that God is too big and too busy, so we shouldn’t bother Him. I think some people imagine the Lord looking like Abraham Lincoln sitting in his stoic memorial, an empty, emotionless marble stare on his face. No, God likes to have fun. Zeph 3:17, The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing . Again, it makes me smile knowing how much fun He’s having. When we know it brings Him pure joy to prosper us, we’ll come boldly to His throne of grace knowing that He is a rewarder! Our faith makes Him happy. And since it makes Him happy to prosper me, I say, “Father God, let’s have some fun!”