Childlike Delight

files-us-australia-people-irwinIn the early weeks after my daughter was born, I spent a lot of time watching TV. I was breastfeeding on demand, which meant I spent about 12 hours a day nursing. Hence the extensive TV time.

I quickly learned that at 8:00 am, Animal Planet ran reruns of Steve Irwin’s shows. It became one of my favorite morning activities. Steve was always so positive and delighted. He found all living creatures, no matter how dangerous or ugly, to be purely amazing. He exemplified childlike delight and wonder. As I sat in my recliner, loony from lack of sleep, I smiled at the simple delight Steve showed me each morning.

Now that my daughter is almost three years old, she exemplifies that delight for me daily. Whether it’s amazement at a pretty piece of jewelry I’m wearing, glee upon spotting the wild rabbit in our backyard, or the ecstasy of a Krispy Kreme doughnut, my daughter’s lesson to me is consistent: the world is a wonderful place.

This is why I’m so passionate about teaching my clients to treat themselves, and why I am so intentional about treating myself. Taking seconds, mere seconds, to delight and rejoice in the little gifts of life will transform you from the inside out. There are two lies that often keep us from taking childlike delight in the world around us.

  • The first is that an activity has to be big and grand: the sun sets every day, but we are only allowed to enjoy it if we are on vacation. Not true! Even if you are just glancing westward as you get out of the car to go to a softball game or pick up take-out for dinner, you can take two seconds to appreciate that sunset!
  • The second lie is that pleasure is selfish/bad/immoral. This can be especially pervasive in Christian settings. But that’s also not true! God gave us five primary senses and thousands of ways to enjoy each sense in this world. The scent of a baby should be enjoyable. Receiving a massage is beneficial. God invented chocolate – if that’s not proof that we’re supposed to enjoy life, I don’t know what is!

Take a few seconds today to incorporate some childlike delight into your life.