I apologize for the long pause; I’ve been writing, just not here. There are words that will never hit my blog, and those are the words I’m writing now. It’s tricky to balance it all: live, deal, heal, write, live some more. And I’m finding that writing is a lethal weapon and sure can spill the guts, but also stitch them back up. So, there’s a lot of that here. It can be difficult to surface when you’re mining the depths. I have to come up for air often because the pressure there threatens collapse. I fill my cheeks with air and go headlong until I run out of breath. That’s basically how it works. It seems that every day I grow a bit more in my capacity to hold air and trek the deep, though, and that’s always beneficial.
I sure do love autumn; the soul’s season for giving thanks. I do enjoy how conscience we are here, with so many reminders for our amnesia-plagued minds. Sometimes I’m ashamed at how hard I fight for joy. Seems my life is oozing with beauty. And it is; I have a rich and abundant life (and I know this) and I am so incredibly grateful. Joy is not rooted in what we have, though – it has much deeper pockets than that. Having things will never equal joy. Even when all is seemingly perfect, that also doesn’t equal joy. I think the equation is not even an equation. I think joy is the solution. The end. It has no factors before it; it’s simply there for the choosing.
Maybe joy lives in the basement of our lives – the threshing floor. It seems to run deep, and stands alone needing nothing but the vine to be sustained. After all, it is a fruit given by the Spirit. Oddly enough, it grows in the most peculiar conditions, and it doesn’t grow in bank accounts, or vacations, or even blessings of health or promotion. I believe it is a source totally outside of and not limited by circumstance. That’s just my simple ideas about it; it’s not gospel. But, I believe my theory is proven when I consider those enslaved and impoverished and the likes, manifesting undefiled joy in their lives. This is why I am ashamed; I have not given myself to living out of the basement of joy as I should. We all have the capacity to, no matter the matter. None of us has excuse enough to not choose joy when we consider the truest dynamics of it. But it’s real hard at times, and we either eat the fruit of joy or starve in our disappointment and bitterness. I’ve been honored to see the way so many of my dearest ones have chosen joy amidst devastation. This, too, proves it’s not about what happens, but rather about what we feast on in the midst of our undoing. Somehow joy is the super food that nourishes us when there is nothing but famine.
It seems this time each year I have to reenlist my soul in a more committed way, to give thanks and take joy. So many things undone and unsorted… but I suppose that is no matter for joy. My life is so small and minor, and I sure can lose my perspective quickly. And in the midst of all that, I can be quickly found and full again by simply choosing, though at times everything inside of me wants to shrivel and dissolve. I imagine it this way: I can either wave the flag of offense and defeat, or I can wave the flag of surrender and triumph. Yes, those things go together. So while I’m on the threshing floor of life getting, well… threshed, what is my battle cry? I can hate it with all of my might but it will not change a single thing inside of me for any better. Or, I can choose to surrender to counting it all joy. I think there are tears here. And sacrifice. And holy trust. I don’t feel it’s a fake smile with shallow and fleeting happy emotions; joy and happiness are not the same thing. It’s much more substantial, joy, and it requires an act of the will to partake and eat. So, I have been robbed of this, over and over, because I felt joy was just too hard a choice in those places. And it truly is a dying pledge when we take it up — dying to what we thought our lives would look like and everything that courts that.
Today, I choose joy. And hopefully tomorrow, too.