While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a video demonstrating mocha diffusion. Mocha diffusion is a technique used to decorate pottery. It transforms a simple dot of color into patterns that may appear as a snowflake, leaf, or peacock feather. I find the beauty in this technique striking! And, it prompted my thinking about how to positively impact others through art and nature.
Mocha diffusion made me think of the ripple effect that occurs when you throw a stone into a body of water. Concentric circles form around the spot where the stone enters the water. The effect behaves like the pottery technique. Both mocha diffusion and the ripple effect spread. They occupy more surface area after than they did in their initial drop-like state. What comes to your mind when you hear the word spread?
Observations from art and nature provide fodder for deep meaning and purpose. I’ve been considering a quote from the Preface of John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life. “If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full.” When I read that statement, something in me craves to read and ponder it again.
Why If Signals Choice and My Favorite Survival Verse
I’m struck by the first word: if. If is a tiny two-letter word announcing possibility. It’s an indicator. If signals choice. As a kindred spirit of mine likes to say, “it’s binary”. Two options exist, and you have the power to choose. Choice calls to mind a favorite scripture that I memorized in college: Deuteronomy 30:19. In the middle of that verse is a beautiful promise. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life.”
How to Live: Gladly – Make Others Glad in God
Next is live gladly. Like the directive choose life, I appreciate this simple call to action. I desire to live gladly. Don’t you? Of course, living gladly for ourselves isn’t enough. To make others glad in God, now that’s a reason to get behind. This sounds simple. And, it is in concept though it depends upon discipline in practice. For me, discipline is more achievable when my purpose is clear. When my purpose centers on God, I exist in a high clarity zone. And, when I achieve clarity, I’m free to show that gladness in God with those around me.
The Truth About Your Life: It Will Be Hard
Then there’s the perspective of the realistic optimist. Your life will be hard. Yes, this is a spoiler alert. Yes, this is a promise. And, we can find comfort in this warning. I’m grateful this assertion is dead center in the Piper quote. It’s not buried in the fine print. Life experience teaches me that I learn and grow most in hard times. So, I’m grateful for those hard times.
Insider Information: Your Risks Will Be High
Another caution: your risks will be high. Not for the faint of heart runs through my head. It makes me think of the risk profile that you complete when meeting with a financial advisor. How much risk can you and I tolerate? This statement implies that we dare not proceed if we can’t stomach the possibility of peril. But, that’s not the end of the story.
Your Joy Will Be Full – Isn’t That Worth It?
What comes to mind when you hear your joy will be full? How about completeness or ecstasy? What about joy as the best? It’s that my cup runneth over moment. To me, joy is worth it. Joy satisfies. It satiates in a way where gladness and happiness fall short. The writer of Galatians 5:22 and 23 doesn’t mention gladness or happiness. But, joy is number two in that fruit of the spirit list.
What Changes Perspective? Beautiful Art and Water
So, back to the visual demonstrations of beauty: mocha diffusion and the ripple effect.
- What scriptures show the principles of mocha diffusion and the ripple effect?
- What Bible verses support the importance of spreading joy to others?
If you get stuck or want some examples, take a look at these two helpful ideas.
💡 #1 Helpful Idea: Spread the Good Word Now
Two scriptures come to mind encouraging us to spread the Good Word now.
- Matthew 28:19 CEV Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This verse speaks to our purpose and commission.
- I Peter 3:15 NIV But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. How we share our hope when the opportunity arises is critical.
💡 #2 Helpful Idea: Focus on the Commonalities
Our world overflows with division about politics, ideologies, and otherwise. The temptation for distraction due to quarrels, disputes, and inconsequential nonsense is immense. But, in the grand scheme of life, how much does it matter? A long-time elder friend says, “you can be happy, or you can be right”. He makes that statement in the context of marriage. But, it applies in other situations, too.
Romans 12:18 AMP If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Even when we disagree with someone, the choice of zipping our lips for the sake of harmony exists.
Luke 5:31 AMP And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. We are all sick or broken in some respect.
What we have in common is greater than our differences. We all belong to the human race. We have an equal opportunity to experience love, heartbreak, and health issues. And, we have highs and lows. Some days bring tears and fears. Other moments bring immense joy and laughter.
Reliable and Simplistic: How to Not Sweat Small Stuff
Check the “small stuff” in life against the weightier matters that people are dealing with.
- The brother who battles depression
- A friend who wrestles against anxiety
- An aging parent who struggles with early-onset dementia
- A church member who lost her job and is struggling to meet financial obligations
- Your daughter who finds out she can’t have children
- That team member who lives with chronic pain due to fibromyalgia
- The grandmother who no longer drives and struggles with loneliness
- A son who cares for his paraplegic uncle
When we shift our mindset, it’s easier to focus on commonalities.
And, focusing on commonalities sets us on the path to positively impacting others. Next time you toss a stone into a lake, think about the ripple effect. When you smell the aroma of a coffee, remember the mocha diffusion technique. Disseminate joy. It’s guaranteed to bring you a life worth living.
Aimee Zahora, Owner at Aim Higher Now, and eternal joy seeker.
March 31, 2020