Every year in my English class I make my students do an assignment with the verb “To Get”. Rather than me explaining the thousands of uses of the verb, I make them research it on their own and report back to the class what they find. (Look it up in the dictionary sometime and you’ll be shocked at all the ways we use the verb Get.) One of my favorite uses is the phrase, “I don’t get it.”
Have you ever found yourself wandering aimlessly through life and thought, “Is this all there is? Am I missing something here?” I want to be sure that I “get it”. I want to get it RIGHT and I want to get it ALL. I want to squeeze every last drop out of life. I want the Good Life- every ounce of it.
I have no doubt that someday I’ll be in heaven (so I know I got that part right). But I don’t want God to say to me, “You didn’t get it. You had all those years on Earth and you didn’t get it. I was always with you. I surrounded you with immeasurable beauty every single day. I was calling to you every day. I was trying to get your attention. I wanted you to see me and admire my beauty. I wanted to fill you up with my beauty, which would have made you so happy. But you were too busy. You were too focused on the pointless details. You were too frustrated to look up. I wanted to give you the Good Life, but your hands were already full. I was trying to show you, but you didn’t get it.”
How many sunsets have I missed? How many loving gazes have passed unnoticed? How many times have I been looking down when I should have been looking up? How many days have I spent scratching around in the dirt when I should have been soaring through the clouds? How many times have I felt sheer joy rise up inside of me, threatening to swell and burst my heart, but I’ve pushed it back down again because I’m a grown up now? Children never do that.
When a child is bursting with happiness she sings and dances with abandon, she squeals with giddiness, she claps her hands happily. Her eyes shine with joy and her smile stretches from ear to ear. Then what happens? She runs into her Daddy’s arms and hugs him tight around the neck… she is thankful. She “Gets It”. She gets that the Good Life is a life full of thankfulness.
Thankfulness both causes and results from Joy. It’s a beautiful chicken-and-the-egg cycle. Noticing beauty makes me happy. Happiness makes me thankful. Expressing thankfulness makes me even happier- Joyful even. And with that Joy I find even more beauty in the world, which makes me overflow with thankfulness. I worship. I wrap my arms around my Father’s neck and squeeze- extracting every last drop of Joy from life. I get it.