Thoughts on Joy

Earlier this week I was reminded of how selfish I can be; how tightly I still attempt to control my little world. Especially meaningless things. But when that control is interrupted, or my routine is altered, I tend to spiral and think unkind thoughts.  All of which are from my limited, wounded perspective and are not grounded in reality or truth.

But truth was revealed through a recent morning devotion, that of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

“Only self can kill joy…
Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. In an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. The moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out.” (p. 177)

How often am I my own worst enemy? Living my life by an invisible set of rules I concoct, feeling like I must somehow follow them to the letter, and when I inevitably don’t or can’t measure up to my own impossible standards, grow frustrated, angry, disillusioned. Joyless. I live this way often, far too often.

Further encouragement came through the meaningful lyrics of two Sara Groves’ songs:

My body’s tired from trying to bring you here
My brow is furrowed trying to see things clear
So I’ll turn my back to the black
And fall
And wait for the mystery
To rise up and meet me
Mystery by Sara Groves, from the album Invisible Empires

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me
Open My Hands by Sara Groves, from the album Invisible Empires

 

God’s providential timing speaking to my heart through the creative offerings of these wonderful word-artisans have served to remind me it’s okay to let go, remember it (the all encompassing IT) doesn’t have to be perfect, live with my soul expectant to receive joy, and that I’m the only one who can sabotage anything to the contrary. Exercising this kind of control is the right, good, and healthy kind.  The kind that allows me to breathe and be; replace anxiety and frustration with contentment and joy.

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