Happy New Year!
I read a recent article about Cam Newton and how he is bringing fun to the NFL because he displays a kid-like enthusiasm, or as the article stated it – “joy” – to the game. In the midst of a bunch of poor sportsmanship and questionable role-models, Cam gives us a glimpse at the simplicity of having fun like a kid. I like the guy, even though I typically cheer against his team (ever since Auburn). I’m inspired by his joy – “flying” like a kid pretending to be a airplane, miming a Superman shirt rip, and jumping side/back bumps. Joy.
Some might comment that they’d be as happy as Cam if they made millions of dollars or got paid to play football, and so on. But, I don’t think so. Joy is a choice. People without joy are people without joy, regardless of their circumstances. There are plenty of wealthy people without joy. And there are plenty of people living in poverty with joy. I’ve discovered this in hills of Appalachia, the villages of Haiti, the mountains of Afghanistan, the roads of Djibouti, the jungle of Kenya, and the streets of inner-city Miami, OKC, and Jacksonville.
Therefore, Cam’s behavior confronts me with a challenging question…I’ll get to it in a second.
Jesus teaches something similar when he says, “Trust me, unless you change and become like little kids, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3, NIV ~ with ‘Lance emphasis’).”
Become like a little kid. Joy. This is what I see when I see Cam’s behavior on the field.
The question I ask myself – “Why don’t I do that too?” “What’s keeping me from expressing joy in the work I’ve put my hands to doing?” “How can I finish each day or each task with a double fist pump or a Superman shirt-rip?” This applies to my role as a husband, dad, friend, and employee.
It is up to each individual to find or make joy in the work of their hands. No amount of money or other people’s behavior toward you will give you joy.
This New Year, I will exercise more fist pumps, high fives, and “Superman shirt rips” as I do my job, love my wife, raise my son, and be a friend.