I slowed my car and came to a stop. The school bus was discharging a passenger in my neighborhood. Waiting for the flashing lights to cease I watched the little neighbor boy leap onto his lane. He jumped and leapt half way before breaking into a hop, skip, and sprint for his house. Even though I was headed for my toxic miserable workplace, a knowing smile brightened my glum face. It was Friday afternoon with the Christmas holiday time approaching and how euphoric that can be for a child. I once knew the feeling.
That little neighbor boy was jumping for joy. It got me remembering when he was me many years ago. It also put a couple of other images on my brain’s plate. Being a country boy I’ve had the pleasure of seeing cows turned out of the barn for the first time in the spring. After a winter of standing in a stanchion, suddenly the day arrives when they are freed into lush green grass and fresh air. Now bovines tend to be pretty laid back creatures; a chew of cud in the cheek and they’re content to hang out and do – not much. But my goodness, when that stanchion clanks open and their feet hit that grass carpet, placidity takes leave. Leaps, hops, skips, sprints and finally several jumps for joy. It’s a stirring sight.
The other image was that of Christ’s return. Suddenly the day will arrive when we are once and for all freed from those things which hold us. The day when “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For the waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; In the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” (Isaiah 35:5-7)
When the King comes He will change man and nature in great and wondrous ways. Friday afternoon is a coming and so too is the final fulfillment of the Christmas promises. Just thinking about that day makes one want to do a jump for joy…or two or three. There will be no more school buses, grim workplaces or stuffy stanchions; only lanes and roads to home, and green pastures in which to leap, hop, skip, sprint and jump for joy.