The title of this blog has been placed on my heart for some time but I have been reluctant to write it because I was afraid it might sound a little bit blasphemous, but I intend to sing the praise of God so hopefully all will be forgiven.
It is impossible to ignore all the terrible news in the world at the moment. My goodness, I try not to watch, listen to or read news but in this connected world we live in it is not possible to avoid it. My soul is continuously troubled by the Israel/Palestine conflict and I have cried for the innocent victims of the MH17 plane crash and their devastated loved ones. Locally stories of beautiful, long awaited babies being born sleeping never to go home with their Mummy and Daddy or innocent children having to fight for their life against some rare form of cancer or the sweetest little girl being placed in foster care again, all wears you down. It is hard to cope and it makes you wonder about what is truly important.
Each week the hum-drum of daily life is also tiring, even without drama and tragedy. Going to work, paying bills, packing lunches, meeting commitments, doing the dishes, cooking meals, watering plants and on and on it goes and really what is it all for anyway.
Then nearly every single Sunday I am reminded of what it is all for. I do not intend or specifically set out to discover the true meaning of life every Sunday but somehow God repeatedly reveals it to me. He slows me down just enough to feel the spiritual rhythm of my life. I know the spiritual realm is always close by but in the busy-ness of life the beauty, wisdom and peace of it seems to get swept just out of reach. The meaning of life for me is a feeling that I experience from time to time.
It is really hard to explain what it feels like when I am existing in the awareness of the Spirit. When I can feel it inside and out, when I breathe it in and it moves through my entire body. It is peaceful and loving, it is all about simple pleasure, gentle kindness, it is colourful and comforting, it brings me joy and I love it.
This Sunday I felt the Spirit in the warm sun on my back and in the cold wet mud as we planted our first ever potato garden. I can see beauty and hope in the full moon as it rises in front of me as I write these words. I saw it as the butterflies fluttered around my beautiful flowering lavender and as I heard our girls sitting up in the tree chattering together. It is magical and magnificent and it brings me great great joy. It is this joy that I think is the purpose of life.
I don't willingly accept that what brings me joy is so simple. I often grumble that my life is dull, lacking in excitement and no where near as glamorous as I had planned when I was younger. I never dreamed that being a mother and wife, a sister and friend, an active member of my Church community organising great local events, an RI teacher and living in this dry and isolated place would be good for my soul. I never thought this would be the meaning of my life, but right now it is and it feels so right and very often it brings me great joy.
I thank God that he reminds me regularly that the meaning of my life is joy and love, and nearly always that looks and feels different to what I imagined, but I try to embrace it, experience it and appreciate it as it happens. It is this joy and love that makes it possible for me to walk on this Earth with all its pain and suffering and hopefully make a small difference in the lives of the people I know and love.
So holy joy-balls I say go and do what makes you joyful this week, do it in the name of God, no matter what it is, enjoy it, try not to over analyse it or judge it, but just let it be, experience it in all its glory, don't rob yourself of it. Joy is not an indulgence or a luxury it is vitally important and necessary if we are going to survive and thrive in this often tragic world.