Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I read once, about twenty years ago, in a book called ‘Love’s Journey’ by Michael Guiran, “The secret of a life is to love with joy.” Ever since then I have been in search of such a life, but it is elusive for I note that I am not always bubbling over with joy. I assume I am not that different to you. To live a life that loves with joy is indeed elusive. I suspect, or more positively said, I am think I am coming to understand what some of the secrets of this life of joy are: Joy (always) comes from the depths. It has too! There was first a tragic death before there was a joyful resurrection. Mary came to the tomb while it was still dark, before she could speed off and tell others the joyful news of Jesus’ resurrection. Joy has its roots deeply embedded in darkness first, in death first, in disappointment first. Isn’t that is why joy satisfies, for it is lodged deeply in us? So we can say then joy is bigger than our circumstances. ‘Circumstance’ would be the basis of happiness; ‘bigger than circumstance’ would be the basis of joy. So the bottom line basis of joy is trust - we have to get to a place where we can accept that it is not our will that matters in the things going on around us, but God’s will, at the deepest level. Or in other words we have to know deep in the soul our lives are not primarily about us, and we are not that important in the greater scheme of things. There is a much bigger picture at play. Without this kind of trust and acceptance, patience and wisdom I cannot see there being much joy. Joy is transcendent in this sense, it is allowing the divine to have a say in the understanding, interpreting, and experiencing, of our circumstances. The seed of joy is to sit in the contradictions and sufferings of my life first. I am loathe to use the word accept them so I use the word ‘sit’ with them. And seek God’s will in them. So, joy then comes from, and transcends, our circumstances. Joy is able to look deeply into the present, and remain in the present; but in the same moment trust beyond the present. Such joy then is paradox and mystery, the divine playing out in the heart of our lives. Joy is Good Friday and Easter Sunday held together, by trust. in our circumstances!