Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Just....

Oh it is a great morning to be alive:)

Nothing fancy has happened, I just have some unexpected free time in my morning schedule. I just have some quiet time to breathe deep and draw in the peace that surrounds me. I just have all of my needs met by a gracious God and many of my wants. I just laughed so hard last night at a White Elephant game that I almost cried. I just saw a full moon and brilliant stars shining above and reminding me of my true place. I just have a family who I love and cherish. I just have areas of both strength and weakness.

I just am in graduate school during the final exam period. I just was able to purchase gifts for my friends and family for Christmas. I just have time to read my morning Bible study. I just can write on this blog about my life and thoughts. I just have a blooming prayer life, that is my refreshment.

Ok, maybe you get my point by now. But I just had to make sure. Though many people would say the above are "just" part of life. Nothing fancy, nothing amazing. I am growing to disagree with that.....a lot!

 I am seeing over and over again that Joy is a Fruit of the Spirit we shamefully neglect. That it can be snatched away just like any other emotion. But people "just" are not as dedicated to fighting for it. I mean that, I wonder when did we settle on this idea that though we have sooooo much, so ridiculously much, we must suffer. We must suffer in loneliness, we must suffer in fear, we must suffer in ignorance, we must suffer in hurt, we must suffer in stubbornness. Why is that? Why does the bad, and hard, and difficult outweigh the magic, and joy, and the cheerful? Why in the midst of a lush life (and I will just announce that we as Americans have a lush life) must we focus our being on what is just not going right. Our grandparents did not do this. And that is probably why they had greater life satisfaction. I think it had to be. Because, in 2011 I see people who have as much stuff as a king, but are as unsatisfied as the frozen, cold, barren Arctic tundra.

The older generations, now they lived in times of great suffering....and I mean true suffering. War brides, family troubles, blatant racial tensions, economic woes. Yet it is the more current generations that have caught the bug. The "it's deep and mysterious to be unhappy" bug. And I don't even mean over sickness, or complete and total financial ruin, or death and carnage. Oh no, I mean over the "other". The things that our grandparents would scoff at. The things that humans on almost any other continent would be amazed at.

On a morning that for me is happy and full of possibilities, I know way too many others who are working through some pain and confusion. And I worry that being unhappy and dissatisfied for too long, well that it could become permanent much more quickly than we imagine. I worry that unhappiness clouds our judgment. That it changes our words and thoughts without us being totally aware. I worry that if we get led so far down the road of suffering, that the dark and oppressive environment, and the road littered with a multitude of others who are having troubles; I worry that those things keep us stuck. And bewildered because all of a sudden our emotions have gained control over us and we are both out of control and also searching at the same time. And that is never a good combination. Because at the moment of desperately needing to be filled. We can turn to some pretty dangerous things. Things that will chain us to that path for days, months, and years.

Oh, that we all could embrace this "good life". That we all could see the strength through the struggle. That we could wake up anew to our lives, and just cherish them for all that they are. That we could stand strong and proclaim our Joy to others. They say you need to be the change you want to see in the world. So, I will begin with me, by claiming my Joy, by resisting the bold negativity that is shoved down our throats by society, by sharing a smile and words that are coming from a place of deep hope, faith, perseverance, and life.

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