What would make you be joyful?
Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword these days. Staying present, being in the moment.
The Bible calls it, contentment.
Happiness is fleeting, usually pegged about by our circumstances. When we’re winning, we’re up, when we’re losing, we’re down.
Whereas joy, the emotional sibling of contentment is unbuffered by the wind or lack thereof, that pushes our ‘boat’.
A joyful mum = kids?
Some would say, how’s that…I need a break from them!?
Then in our better moments as parents we say, ‘they are a constant source of joy’ (and frustration!). Am I right?
Recently our pastor put 3 pictures of different kids with just their head shots up on the church projector screen. He asked us to vote for which kid portrayed ‘joy’ to us.
When we panned back, we saw the full photo of each kid. One was riding a bike, the other opening the Christmas gift, the other a foster child who just got adopted. All were joyful…but most voted for the Christmas gift opening kiddo.
The point? Joy comes in many forms…and levels.
As a mum, what is joy for you?
Well, here’s the thing…what happens when your joy, your highest joy, is in being a mumma…or anything for that matter.
You’ll always be a mumma I guess, but your kids will grow up. …then what are you? Where does your joy go then? When they visit or call? You’re pretty much out of a job and the joy gravy train is looking pretty rusty.
What I’m saying is, when you’re outsourced, made redundant…your career is on the wane so to speak…if you’re joy is in being a mumma, won’t that mean your joy goes a bit south as the kids age?
Jesus made the same point after he sent the disciples out on a mission…they came back so stoked, so pumped, so joyful. Ministry success…how good is that, right? I mean if you get out there and preach the good news, launch a website, run a mission and things go off…you’d be pretty joyful.
But not Jesus.
Jesus the party pooper?
Yep, Jesus the ultimate success party pooper. The career party pooper. Now this is not just for mums or dads…but for anyone, even those of us who preach and feel we have a higher calling: “I’m in Christian ministry and there’s no greater job in the world”. Jesus says to us, ‘sorry mate but you’re wrong’; party pooper!
‘Every party has a pooper that’s why we invited you, party pooper, Jesus!’
Often, I get Christians who aren’t in some kind of ministry look up to me…like my job is more important or worthwhile or that somehow my joy is greater.
I get it.
But if you look at Jesus’ words after he sent the disciples out on mission, you’ll see that all of us have the same joy.
What does he say?
Don’t rejoice in this…rejoice in your names being written in heaven.
Joy that remains, Joy that lasts
I’d love success. I’d love to rejoice that we finally were able to live off our ministry. It’s a hard slog.
But I know over the years I’ve had to fight and wrestle with the horrible reality that even if I was super successful, like the disciple’s mission was, I wouldn’t be better off in the joy department.
I have everything I need right now. So, do you.
And it’s not about what you do or hope to achieve and what that gives you.
It’s not about being a mum or dad, as grand as that is…
It’s about what God thinks of you and whether your name is in heaven.
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