I wake up and the sun is too bright or the sky is too gray. I have nothing to wear and my whole self needs serious help. The shower water is too warm or it’s too cool…same for the room…same for the coffee….same for the air outside. The car ride is also an irritation. “Why can’t people learn to drive! Everyone knows that when people arrive at a four-way stop at the same time that the person on the right goes first! Learn how to drive! Get off your phone and drive! Stop texting and drive! Do you call that a stop? Hurry up, Grandma!….Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!” And it isn’t even eight in the morning yet!?! Does that sound familiar?
Two things come to mind. One is a song and one is a poem .I KNOW that I am not the only adult that turns into a 5-year-old when watching Veggie Tales! I might have bought these videos for my kids to watch…but I would be lying if I said I bought them just for my kids! When I taught preschool, I showed them to my preschoolers…and my children’s group at church… and my children’s Sunday School classes….but truth is, I LOOOOOVE these shows. I laugh, I dance, I start talking in “corn”y accents(no “veggie” pun intended!). And I cry. There is always a lesson makes me say, “Yes! That is right! Everybody should have to watch this!!!” One of the most powerful parts of any show of any type I have ever seen is when the monetarily poor dad and child are at the “Stuff Mart”…the same “Stuff Mart” where Madame Blueberry is buying out the store to try to fill her sad and empty existence. She is erroneously thinking that if she fills up her house with every gadget and gizmo then she will fill up the void in her heart and soul.
Before the shopping spree begins we are introduced to Madame Blueberry and her plight …yes of course…through a song:
“(Jean Claude): Now Madame Blueberry was a sad little berry. She lived by herself in a house in a tree. Her butlers would show up each morning at nine. They’d open the door to hear Madame whine. (Madame): I’m so blue-hoo-hoo, Blue-hoo-hoo Blue-hoo-hoo hoo! I’m so blue I don’t know what to do! ( Bob and Larry): She’s so blue-hoo-hoo, Blue-hoo-hoo Blue-hoo-hoo hoo! She’s so blue she don’t know what to do! ( Jean Claude): Her butlers, whose names were Bob and Larry, Would help her with chores in her house in a tree. Bob would wash dishes for Larry to dry, Madame would stack them and then start to cry. ( Madame): I’m so blue-hoo-hoo, Blue-hoo-hoo Blue-hoo-hoo hoo! ( Bob and Larry): She’s so blue she don’t know what to do! (Madame): These dishes are faded, their edges are chipped! This rose is on backward and this one is flipped! These spoons are too tiny, these forks are no good! These knives have gone dull and don’t slice like they should! My neighbors have nice things, I’ve seen them myself. In fact, I keep pictures up here on my shelf! Look at this new flatware of Monsieur LaGoon’s And Monsieur DesPlanes has twelve Franklin mint spoons! And Phillip Van Pea went and bought a new sink, Why, he even has a disposal, I think! And look at this crock pot of Madame Lacrosse’s, And ceramic jars where she keeps all her sauces! Nice sauces… I’m so blue-hoo-hoo, Blue-hoo-hoo Blue-hoo-hoo hoo! ( Bob and Larry): She’s so blue she don’t know what to do! ( Madame): Just look at this sofa of Edward and Tammy’s, And lovely armoire where they keep all their jammies! I really can’t stand it, I think I may die! Now where was that hanky? I’m going to cry! Too late! Bahaahaa! I’m so blue-hoo-hoo, Blue-hoo-hoo Blue-hoo-hoo hoo! I’m so blue I don’t know what to do! ( Bob and Larry): She’s so blue! ( Madame): I’m so blue! (All): She’s so blue-hoo-hoo hoo! She’s so blue she don’t know what to do!
So, Madame Blueberry goes shopping. And we see Madame Blueberry buying everything in sight. And after Madame Blueberry has more stuff than her house will literally hold, we see a dad and child with nothing but an inexpensive ball and love. This is the song that they sing:
(Junior): “Thank you Dad for our day, For our trip to the mall, For the time just with me, For my big red bouncy ball! For the fun that we had, I’m so happy you’re my dad, That’s why I say thanks everyday! (Junior’s Dad): Because a thankful heart is a happy heart! (Junior): I’m glad for what I have, That’s an easy way to start! (Junior’s Dad): For a God who really cares (Junior): And He listens to our prayers, That’s why I say thanks everyday!( Both): That’s why we say thanks everyday!”
That is the first thing that comes to mind…and the question: what is the difference between a dissatisfied existence and a happy heart?
And now the poem…I have had a little 2×4 wooden plaque since I was a kid. I don’t know where it is anymore, but when I was in highschool and forgot that I was supposed to memorize a poem to present in front of one of my classes, I was grateful I knew this poem…and I am grateful that I know it now. I just wish it was the first thing that popped into my head EACH day and stayed with me throughout EVERY day. It would save me a lot of grief. Maybe if you can read and keep it in mind, it will save you a lot of grief too. Maybe if we could all remember and employ this little poem the world might not BE, but it might SEEM the perfect shade of sunny… and the perfect temperature… and people and what they do to us and around us would never be an irritation. We could see everything with respectful levity instead of excessive gravitas. I wish we all would laugh more. Some things really are terrible and serious…but most things aren’t. I wish we all would smile more… say “Thank You” more…to everyone and out loud to no one. And to God.
Here is my poem:
“The Difference ~ I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day; I had so much to accomplish, I didn’t have time to pray. Problems just tumbled about me and grew heavier with each task; Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered; He answered, “You didn’t ask.” I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak; I wondered why God didn’t show me – He said, “But you didn’t seek.” I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all my keys at the lock; God gently and lovingly chided, “My child, you didn’t knock.” I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day; I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.” Grace L. Naessens
No amount of money or stuff will make a difference. No amount of busy involvement will make a difference. Lord, help me before I even open my eyes each day to make certain that I start first thing seeing the world through a lens provided by You. In all things let me find something good and in all things help me have a grateful heart.
“I thank God for this day, For the sun in the sky, For my mom and my dad, For my piece of apple pie! For our home on the ground, For His love that’s all around, That’s why I say thanks every day! Because a thankful heart is a happy heart! I’m glad for what I have, Thats an easy way to start! For the love that He shares, ‘Cause He listens to my prayers, That’s why I say thanks every day!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhcI-HXicwY