Saturday, January 2, 2016

JOY!




Does the word JOY make you leap in happiness--or cringe in fear?

Folks ask me why I am such an optimistic person. It is because I live in the moment. I find happiness in the small things. People go looking for a huge miracle and when they don't find it, immediately they say that God does not care. He does not care about their problems, their issues, their faults, their ...anything!

I tell you this...have you ever truly...and I mean, not just a quick perusal, but truly stopped....and looked around you? Have you used your five senses to really take in everything that is happening?

Did you see the stars last night? How they twinkled like diamonds? ("Oh, but I live in the city...you know, pollution and all, can't see the stars!")

Did you hear the sound of a baby's giggle? ("Babies? Don't they scream, cry and poop a lot?")

Did you take a chance to play in the new snow? ("Snow? OMG...I nearly broke my back shoveling it!")

Have you sniffed a real rose and enjoyed its wonderful color, shape and beauty? (A rose? I'm allergic!")

Can you see how the first sentence is such a joy filled one and the response...probably a typical negative retort.

I know, we ALL have our 'issues that need tissues'...life is just that, life! How do you handle all of those things that fly up at you? Do you greet the day with negativity or do you wake up, thank God you're alive and find the Grace to tell God just how wonderful it is that the sun rose and the birds are singing? What did you see? A deer? Have you heard the sound of snow falling? That sound of silence when every snow flake is magnified as it gently flutters to the ground?

My friend, there are miracles ALL around you! And if you didn't immediately see one, instead of cursing out God...maybe think....is it possible that it was YOUR turn to create a miracle? Yes! YOU! You can create a miracle! YOU can be that "angel in disguise" for someone who really needs a miracle!

There are many ways to be an angel: I know of someone who offered sober rides to others on New Years' eve, this after a long day of work. He also offered, after a snowfall, to wait by the door of his workplace and escort others in so they would have no need to fear falling on the ice. Wow...an angel!

I have witnessed those who hold doors open and greet folks with a smile. I have seen deer in the moonlight, I have witnessed the sound of children's laughter, I have smelled a rose fresh from a garden...and the full moon...how can I describe its beauty on a frosty cold Minnesota night? To also see coyotes cavorting in a frozen field, their yip-yip-yipping sounds carrying on the icy wind as they play like our own dogs do- it is truly awesome!

All of this...is JOY! Live in the moment...trusting that God has you. The news would have you think we are on the edge of hell. So not true! God created the heavens AND the earth. For the few news reports that announce the gloom and doom of life, there are many people who are doing what they can to save it from destruction. And those who wish to inflict harm on us God-loving people? Pray always that we stand up together as one and defeat that enemy. The strife that builds up from within will be our own undoing. And yes, the devil IS n the details...what better way to distract us from happiness than to create anger and hatred?

When God created the world and put humans in it, it was with the express desire that humans live happily ever after. Unfortunately it did not turn out that way. But that does not mean we need to live dour lives, either! I think of the singer/songwriter John Denver. He could see the majesty of God's creation and appreciate it...so much so that he wrote music to celebrate it--then passed that love on to all who would listen. Today--and every day-- use YOUR sense to see, taste and touch all that God has in store for YOU!

Click on the link below to savor what John saw when he went to those mountains--feel the JOY!:

"Rocky Mountain High" John Denver