Jeffrey Overstreet at Looking Closer has a list of 7 reasons they are a joy to listen to. I concur on all seven. At the end he has three short observations about their infectious joy, the last of which is:
What can I do so that... my presence brings more of this kind of thing into the world?Which got me thinking...when I was about 25 years old, I was busy taking myself super-seriously. I'd left Kenrick Seminary a year or so earlier, and was struglling with what I should do with my life. Having been so recently in school, most of my thoughts were on things like philosophy, theology, psychology--some kind of academic pursuit--as being the really important work in the world. What would I do with my life. What wonderful work would I accomplish for God? (I wonder if God realized back then houw much He needed my help?)
Somewhere along the way God tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Look at your Uncle Louie." One of my mom's many older brothers, he had worked as a custodian at St. Cecelia's church. After retiring, he spent his days helping his neighbors, giving the older ladies rides to the store or the doctor, helping in any way he could. He was the farthest thing from a martyr. He always had a smile on his face, and somehow he made me feel like I was doing him a favor just by being me. He brightenend any room, shoot, he brightened the world. If I could bring that kind of happiness and peace to the world, I'd be doing the Lord's work just fine.
Some lessons take a lifetime to learn. I have a thick head, a bit of a melancholy streak, and I still take myself too seriously. I get gloomy thinking about all the Great and Important Things I could have accomplished in my life and didn't. When I am at my gloomiest, God will once again tap me on the shoulder and say, "Remember Uncle Louie! Go and do likewise." His memory, and his example, still brighten any room.