Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cynicism or Joy

"For me it is amazing to experience the daily radical difference between cynicism and joy. Cynics seek darkness wherever they go. They point always to approaching dangers, impure motives, and hidden schemes. They call trust naive, care romantic, and forgiveness sentimental. They sneer at enthusiasm, ridicule spiritual fervor, and despise charismatic behavior. They consider themselves realists who see  reality for what it truly is and who are not deceived by "escapist emotions." But in belittling God's joy, their darkness only calls forth more darkness.

People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to flashes of light here and there and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God. They discover that there are people who heal each other's wounds, forgive each other's offenses, share their possessions, foster the spirit of community, celebrate the gifts they have received, and live in constant anticipation of God's glory.

Every moment of the day I have the chance to choose between cynicism and joy. Every thought I have can cynical or joyful. Every word I speak can be cynical or joyful. Every action can cynical or joyful. Increasingly I am aware of all these possible choices, and increasingly I discover that every choice of joy in turn reveals more joy and offers more reason to make life a true celebration in the house of the Father."
Return of the Prodigal Son
Henri Nouwen
p. 109

I followed a blog for a long time called "The Happiness Project" and the book about the project has recently been published in paperback where a Gretchen Rubin pursued all the ways that one can make herself happy.  In a semi-healthy way.
She came upon this truth along the way: "I'm not happy unless I think I'm happy." 

What does that mean? 
It means, it is a choice. 

We can do all things. With Christ. 
You can choose to be joyful. Full of life. 
Or you can be dark, lonely, annoyed and overwhelmed. 

This is my push and pull that I deal with. 
Today, I am going to do my best to be joyful.

How about you? 

1 comment:

Miriam said...

good, needed words. thanks leslie.