What brings you joy? Many things bring me joy: my ministry work; my grandchildren; working in my garden; a good Netflix series; chats with friends and family. What happens though when our seeming joy is “interrupted”? The car breaks down, 40 days of extreme heat, a loss. All of this may make us feel like our joy is temporarily interrupted. Or maybe we are holding on to past burdens or fretting about future ones, all of which could block our joy.
And what is joy? Spiritually, joy is that deep within us that knows all of our needs are met through the One Power and One Presence that lives in us and as us. The metaphysical meaning of joy is “The happiness of God expressed through man (human)” (Revealing Word). It is more than an emotion of happiness and delight or having a “Pollyanna” attitude, but a knowing of whose we are, beloved expressions of God.
How do we tap into our joy when our world seems skewed and we are pushed to the ledge? We breathe mindfully and get to choose how we go off that ledge. We can either descend into our unconscious cultural conditioning of fear and anger or ascend into a leap of faith and soar with the flowing spirit of joy. We can choose to live joyfully in this very moment and to let go of all worries. Prayer, meditation, and gratefulness are practices that can equip and empower us to live mindfully in the present moment and to choose the direction of our lives wisely.
Up, down. Ascend, descend. We get to choose. I willingly choose joy!