Sunday, October 28, 2012
Joy Comes In The Morning
There's a song by Jesus Culture that goes, "there may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning."
A few nights ago I found myself alone and feeling a little sorry for myself. A little pity party for just me, myself and I. It didn't last long. The personal pity parties have been fewer and fewer these days because I am gently reminded to give the garbage I'm holding onto away. See video 'Trash' below.
In the morning, I felt better. I took the dog to the dyke and as I watched her run through the tall grass a thought stuck me. As thoughts often do, they come without warning sometimes, and I was unprepared, no pad or pencil. So, I'll relay those thoughts, from memory, as best as I can.
"Angel's happy!" She looked ecstatic. Joyfully running circles around me. I realized she was happy because I had brought her to the place she was born to be in. Tall grass, marshland, water, and the home to wild animals (I did see a bear there a couple of days ago with her cub and the salmon are spawning). She's part Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog mix with, Labrador and Australian Shepard. Catahoula's were breed to hunt wild boar in the bijou's, the marsh's and tall grass and although she wasn't hunting, that morning, she was herding and running circles around me just as an Australian Shepard might do. She was doing what she was born to do.
My daughter Alora had that same sparkle of joy when she was jumping a horse over 2'6 foot fences at the Pony Club games a few weeks ago. Rene has that spark in his eyes when he's on an adventure or needs to McGiver a solution to fix a problem. Kalina has it when she's working on an experiment or when she's explaining a good book she's read.
Each of us was born for a purpose and when that purpose is unclear we flounder through life confused listening to what other people think we should do. In the process, feeling discontent and disappointed.
God made each of us for a purpose. He gifted us with dreams and idea's to fill and accomplish, and he gave us the tools we need to make those dreams come true. Because we live in a fallen world, we don't always have the daily opportunity to follow that dream. There are bills to pay, children to feed, perhaps even a sickness to get through and we get side-tracked from the vision God gave us. We have responsibilities and the side path you may be on is necessary because we do not live this adventure alone and there are others who rely on us. But, just as there are season's in a year, there are also season's in our lives. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
There are times when we wish the summer was here already, yet it's only 2 days into winter.
There are days when I wished I had more time to research and write.
There are days that I wish I had already written many books and a few screen plays and I wish that I was making an income from these things so I could have time to concentrate on writing more.
But, it's not my season yet and I must be honest here, I don't always know if it will ever come. Hence, the pity parties. In those clear times, when I am focused on God, I know He wants me to write people's stories. He wants me to write words to tell people that they are not alone. They are loved. If one of these stories equips someone with a seed of hope and gives them strength, then I've done the job God wants me to do. I feel that spark of joy. I feel it now as I write these words to you.
This give and take is a hard balance sometimes and there were times when I felt terribly confused. I may have given myself and my time to others too much, listening to them instead of to God. However, on the flip side, when I'm too self-focused I end up not seeing others, and I don't help them with their need. Tough to balance, and it probably takes a lifetime to fine tune. But, this is how life goes, it's a roller coaster ride of great lows and disappointments, great highs of joy and everything in-between.
Perhaps, those 'highs' we get to experience are extra special only because of the 'low' places we've walked. A roller coaster wouldn't be much fun if it only had highs and no lows. The same is true for our lives.
A last thought:
Maybe the 'high' times of joy come more often when our attitude through the 'low' times are full of integrity, peace, grace, mercy, forgiveness and love?
1 Thessalonians 5:16
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Maybe, that's what being 'free' means?
What do you think?