today i want to write about joy. as i sat in my den earlier, watching the change in the light outside as it moved from the eerie "almost night, not yet day" of dawn to the gentle light of early morning, i thought and prayed about the great joy i experience each day, how it is completely undeserved. sure, i've worked hard all my life, i've set aside money for my retirement so i wouldn't have to worry about the essentials of life, i've tried to live a good life, i continue to work at being a caring person. But there are many others that have worked harder and, despite their hard work been unable to save much, that have lived a better life, that are more caring than i, and many of those have not had my good fortune. why should this be so? the inequities of life are troublesome, and i pray daily to understand the lesson of Job.
that being said, every day seems to be such a perfect day. i go to bed at night thinking of all that good that has come my way during the day and invariably fall asleep before i complete my thanksgiving for the day. i wake up each morning full of eagerness to experience the day, to see what it may bring, secure in the knowledge that, no matter what comes, the new day will be a day filled with joy.
it seems that the more i let go of the need to control, the more joyful i become. i read a devotional last night by a respected christian leader who spoke of how God sends suffering in order to help us. i thought, "what rubbish!" there is always an opportunity to learn and grow from suffering, but God doesn't send the suffering; God helps us when it comes, but God is not the source--life is. what i've come to believe more and more is that when we just let go of our controlling impulses and take life as it comes, joy is abundant. if one has no expectation except that the day will be filled with joy, then the day is filled with joy. petty irritations and frustrations are just that: petty and transitory. great disappointments and tragedies are also transitory, and even in those life-changing events there is also joy to be found, though that joy may not be discovered as quickly.
my prayer today is that each of our lives is filled with joy and that we are able to share our joy with others who may need to see joy where they didn't believe it existed.