Crimes of Joy | Melissa Maimone

pumpkin-1536382_640It’s been an awesome day. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, my favorite yogurt was in stock at Trader Joe’s, and I found a great parking space at Costco. I actually liked how my rear end looked in my jeans, I finally found a mascara that doesn’t smear, and I had a 45 minute nap. Oh, first world happiness!

With all that is taking place in this world, in the lives of others and even in my own life, it seems like a crime to get happy about mascara.  There are too many things to consider, remember, worry about.

Give me five minutes to mull those things over and I’ll get decidedly introspective and morose. Give me ten? I’m ready to don a beret, light up an unfiltered cigarette, and listen to jazz music in a smoky gin joint with a bartender named Leroy.

It’s not that the serious things aren’t, well, serious. It’s that they can make us feel guilty about the frivolous. The more difficult your life, the less the peripheral things matter. And yet, isn’t it the peripheral that directs us to the focal point?

Frederick Buechner wrote of the grace of God, “Here is the world, beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

Laughing so hard you cry (or leak, if you’re like me), singing out loud in the car, making up silly dances on the kitchen floor and watching those cat videos on YouTube is an affront to the forces that want us to be afraid and circumspect. Don’t submit. Don’t get pushed around by the voices in your head and in this world that insist you have something to fear. Circumstances that require your serious attention have no right to demand you forfeit your joy. As a matter of fact, the more serious things are in your life, the more you might need that Pumpkin Spice Latte—and to really, really enjoy it.

Terrible things are happening. Be compassionate. Be mindful. Be faithful. Don’t be afraid. And when you are, don’t give up on what makes you smile. Embrace the beautiful. Enjoy the peripheral. Even if it seems like a crime to do so. It’s a beautiful and terrible world. We have nothing to fear. Laugh, watch, nap, dance, sing and sip.

MelissaMaimone-2016MELISSA MAIMONE brings encouragement to her audiences with a blend of insight, transparency, and theology. Affected by depression and anxiety from a young age, she shares with vulnerability (and plenty of humor!) that a hopeful, joyous life is possible no matter what your circumstance.

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