What is joy? Well, Marianne Williamson says that “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are”. I find this to be really true on both good days and bad days. I have mentioned The Thorn Birds before. There is a scene in the mini-series towards the end where Megghie is bitter and railing and complaining about the lack of love in her life, the hopelessness, the bleakness….blah blah blah. I suppose the message of the moviemaker was that you were supposed to agree with her, sympathize with her sorrow and desolateness at the loss of her son and the unavailability of Father Ralph. But at the same time she is baying at the skies, the camera shows the ranch and the people that have devoted their lives to her. I have mentioned this before, so forgive my redundancy. My point is that sometimes it takes a lot of work, commitment, and devotion to God to recognize how good things really are. In the midst of health struggles and financial struggles I can see that things are really good anyway. How? Oh that is easy to answer this morning. I have people who love me. I have had wonderful mentors, teachers, and wise relatives and friends to guide me on the way. God blessed me with the willingness to listen to and learn from them. I find joy in the fact that I have not been alone this year. I find joy in the fact that despite my husband’s very stressful job he has been blessed with co-workers that are kind, honest, ethical, bright and clear-headed. I find joy in the fact that my son has a wonderful internship and is learning so much. So there is always joy somewhere in the midst of suffering. Of course there is joy in the joyful times, too….like making new friends, visiting old friends, visiting relatives, etc.
Keep your eye on the tree—forget about the Keep Out signs in the photo below. The tree reaches out for God and the passer-by. The Keep Out sign merely protects the passerby from some dangerous situation. Remember: as adults we can handle the word “no” at times!
“As you travel through your life, brother, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole”! Oh gosh, Now I AM hungry 😉 . Joy is a wonderful thing—it lightens my heart and my step….it keeps me steadfast in being a perennial optimist.