I hope to space these spiritual journey posts out and not binge post. I find when I write I feel a freeing sensation, which allows more thoughts to enter and not become bottled up inside of me. Only about 20 people ever read each post, and that is when I put it out on Facebook as a reminder "hey, look at me!" By not doing that, even less of you will find my posts. It is my hope and prayer that those who do will be the ones who need to hear these messages, and not those who will criticize me.
I've been searching for a change in my life lately. I tried yoga as a means towards regular meditation, but that failed. I wanted to love the studio that is walking distance to my house so I could use the walk as an extension of my meditation, but rather than finding yogis interested in helping me on my spiritual journey, I found ones wanting to improve my poses. I left many sessions frustrated, though my running times improved, which made me enjoy running more, so maybe there was something to that approach?
Through yoga I started finding a mantra to focus on. In my case I chose the word "peace." What could be better than peace? With the world in turmoil (as it has been for centuries, but seems even worse lately) peace is a great wish for the world.
My new word to ruminate came to me during yesterday's Upper Room Daily Devotional: JOY. This hearkens back to some thoughts I have had lately. God loves us enough to put our picture on his refrigerator (thanks, Pastor Dan from FPC Honolulu for preaching a message that has stuck with me for 15 years and counting). God loves us when we are a petulant teenager (my own thought). God wants us to be happy. Not in the sense that we take away the ability for others to be happy, but in the same way we want our children to thrive and find their paths in life and bring joy to others.
God sent us a baby to save the world. A baby! It is hard not to smile when you are around a baby. Yes, they do cry, and poop, and do other gross stuff, but they also smile, laugh, and openly express all emotions without reason or plotting or conditions (yes, back to I have a thought and I can't find the exact right word, so I am putting it out there before it is perfect). It is like kittens -- when you see a picture of a baby or a kitten on Facebook, you just smile. It is instinct. Even if that baby is putting up the biggest fuss in that photograph, you smile. Admit it. There is great joy in babies.
Until I latch onto a new mantra, I will be praying and thinking about JOY and looking for ways to add more of it to the world. I'm starting by having a non-office office holiday party at Fedoras for friends and family who are underemployed, unemployed, etc. who do not have their own holiday party. It is my hope we can extend this to non-office office luncheons on a more regular basis. We'll see.
Meanwhile I'll keep humming the familiar spiritual "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart" as I go about my day. Hopefully that joy will percolate out of my heart and into the world. After all, God also prompts us in Matthew 5:14 "you are the light of the world." If we all shined our light instead of hiding it, the world would be a better place.