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By Avlon McCreadie
The very first thing I did was shatter a glass on the bathroom floor Saturday morning. I'm talking pre-coffee, pre-pants, pre-everything. Glass everywhere.
For a millisecond I almost got mad, but I caught myself. Why? Because I had a major shift in perspective the night before that helped me avoid the "I'm such an idiot and I wonder why Lacie set this booby trap" thought.
Have you heard of a guy named Rob Bell? He's an author, speaker, previous pastor; most famous, at least in my sphere, for writing Velvet Elvis and the "controversial" Love Wins. He is undeniably one of the best communicators I've listened to, regardless of your opinions of his theology.
His tour was titled "An Introduction to Joy." Do you ever hear a sermon, a talk, a song, a whatever and think to yourself, "God, that is exactly what I needed to hear?" That was me Friday.
As much as I want to word vomit all of my notes from the hour and a half he spoke, I understand I'd probably lose most of you at that point. So instead, here's a paraphrased snapshot of the evening that maybe you need to hear just as much as I did:
Cynicism is easy and lazy and doesn't go far enough. Joy is different than happy. Joy is not the elimination of pain. Joy is changing the way you view everything.
Life is a Vapor
There are moments when everything is okay in the world even when everything isn't. Be happy even in your toil. Life is hevel (mist, vapor). Evil is being surrounded by the goodness but being unable to enjoy it.
Ecclesiastes is for everybody who realizes A plus B doesn't always equal C. The cynic pretends that he's wise but only dips his toe in the heaviness. The invitation, though, has always been to step fully into "this."
Joy reframes the whole thing. Is it a trial to be endured or an adventure we get to go on? The framing is everything. Joy is highly tuned into language phrases. No wonder you're miserable—you're telling terrible stories that aren't true.
Joy is what happens when the "every-day" starts getting electrified. Joy delights in the absurdity. Joy was there the whole way.
Joy resists easy generalizations. Joy spots the little moments of resistance. Joy celebrates movement and life wherever it sees it.
I know there's probably a "had to be there" factor going on. Energy in a room doesn't always translate. But goodness gracious, do you feel just a little spark inside today where there might not have been a spark before?
That's my hope for you, because I know what it feels like to not always have that spark. In fact, just last week I wrote a long letter to someone I care about outlining in great detail my discontentment.
It's time to celebrate, not complain, for life is fleeting, and there's always something worth savoring. Shattered glasses and shattered life circumstances—but joy! It's there, and I hope you see it today.