"Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing - sickness, failure emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death - can take that love away" - Henri Nouwen
This has been a tough one for me to get past this week. When I first read this quote I sort of just skimmed past it. But later on last week something drew me back to. Ever since I cant seem to get it off my mind. In trying to understand what about Nouwen's definition of joy it has demanded that I reflect on my own life and what brings me joy.
Honestly, I struggle to find joy in mundaneness of my daily tasks. No where is this more evident then when I am work. Sometimes I feel like when I walk through the door I turn into a different person. I loose my patience much easier than I would normally, I am easily annoyed, and sometimes I even find myself less willing to help those I work with. The hard part about all of that is thats not who I am at all. I am normally patient, understanding, and want nothing more than to help and serve others. So, whats missing? Why am I so quick to shut people down? After taking some time to digest Nouwen's thoughts on joy I realized thats exactly what I am missing, JOY! Lets be honest though, its not that easy to be filled with the type of joy he describes. I mean I am in the process of editing over 9,000 pages of reports, wheres the joy in that! But thats just it, this overflowing, overwhelming joy isnt from me, its from Christ. Its in the knowledge of His unconditional love that I must find this joy. A joy that knows no frustration and no boundaries. A joy that sets no limit to my patience or willingness to jump in and help at any moment.
God is showing me that this type of happiness can be found in even the littlest things and shortest moments. It is in those moments that I am reminded of the source of my joy and of the reasons I so willing enter into a job or situation that isnt my favorite, for Him. I truly believe that God's glory and greatness can be show in any situation and at any time. And if I am able to play apart in that then what can be more joyful than that.