amy and i laughing hysterically. which results in my mouth wide open and my eyes disappearing. i can't help it, and really, i actually love it.
photo by becca spears
every january i try to set a word, or intention for the year. generally it comes out of the blue and i just roll with it. last year i don't remember having a word, but i felt like it was going to be a hard, pruning year. note to self. if you set an intention of "pruning" don't be surprised if God does just that. :)
this year my word is joy.
i just decided that this year would be marked with JOY. the laugh so hard you cry, joy. the i can't believe how absolutely incredible God is, joy. the delight in the little things, joy.
sometimes joy comes easy. and sometimes it has to be fought for. sometimes i can see it coming from a mile away, and other times it comes in the least of expected places. and sometimes its just not there.
i was reading "Into the Wild" this morning and was reminded of this, of where joy comes from. i get a little nervous about being inspired by a book where the main character drops everything to wander into the alaskan woods, and then dies. lord knows i don't need any inspiration to drop everything and head west. but what alex wrote struck me.
"you are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. it is in everything and anything we might experience. we just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.
my point is that you do not need me or anyone else to bring this new kind of light into your life. it is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances." -into the wild, jon krakauer
there are those times when joy is just hard. when i'm trying to search frantically for it and it takes everything i have not to cuss, (and usually end up cussing anyway), much less to find joy in anything. probably because i'm pretty consumed with myself in those moments. i think that's what alex is getting at in his letter to ron. That when we're wrapped up with ourselves, its no surprise that joy is hard to find. but when we open our eyes to people around us, when we choose to live life a little differently, when we chose to do the hard, unfamiliar things, joy surprisingly floods in.
its hard work. these new things. this unfamiliar life. holy, is it ever! but to me, its worth it. joy is worth it.
"... ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. go forth and perform awe-inspiring deeds! ... you love justice and hate evil. therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else." psalm 45:4&7
yup. that sounds about right.