by Charles R. Swindoll
"My treat!" Nice words to hear, huh? They have flowed into my ears from any number of places. At Thirty-One Flavors on a smoggy, stifling, sweltering August afternoon after I've ordered a double-decker "pralines 'n' cream, dark cone" with a buddy. He digs deeper, faster. I start licking, smilin'. Full of gratitude, I leave wondering why I ordered two scoops. We laugh. I say thanks.
In line for Angels game tickets with another couple, Cynthia and I are looking forward to nine innings of relaxation, when our friends surprise us. "But we said Dutch." "Yeah, well, not this time." Great game. Friendship deepens. Everybody wins (even the Angels!).
Treats are neat. Spontaneous. Unexpected. Pleasant moments that communicate: "You are special . . . loved, appreciated, affirmed, deserving," and a half-dozen other warm fuzzies we need to hear but seldom hand out.
That's one kind of treat—"an act of generosity as an expression of regard or friendship." But treat can also be "an unexpected source of joy, delight, or amusement." Rather than an act, this represents a fact. A happy happening.
I'm thinking of something that never fails to enhance, to encourage, to refresh, to renew. Not every so often, but every single time. The kind of treat where you pick up the tab but the expense is virtually forgotten, thanks to the meaningfulness of the event and the memory that will never be erased. Like time spent on a vacation or at a retreat or at a conference center. A full week or two away from the daily grind. Out where birds still sing and squirrels still run free and nights are still cool and skies are still clear. That's the where.
But the essential question is why? Because you need a place to relax and get your emotional battery recharged. You need a time to rediscover some of the sparkling gems tucked away in God's Book that have gathered dust, thanks to our fast-paced schedule. You need an opportunity to sing your heart out, to relax.
So, take time out of your too-busy schedule to walk, to play, to nap, to get reacquainted with your loved ones, family, or friends.
Take time to meet with God . . . alone. This is one treat you can't deny yourself.
Tell yourself "my treat," and it will be everybody's treat.
Treat yourself to refreshment for your spirit as well as your body.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.