Have you ever met someone who exudes joy? You know the person - no matter how stressful her job or life - no matter the personal tragedy she is facing - no matter the misfortune that appears at her door, she simply moves forward through life with eyes open to whatever small wonders may lay along her path. And in doing so, she brightens the day for others along the way.
As our church continues to explore the fruits of the spirit, we turned our focus this week to joy. In his sermon on Sunday, our pastor referenced the story of Martin Pistorius, a man who was trapped in his body, paralyzed but aware, for more than 12 years. If you aren't familiar with the account, I highly recommend listening, but suffice it to say that in the end, he was able to break free and communicate, and he has subsequently gone on to live a full and fulfilling life. What caught my attention more than the miracle of his recovery was his ability to transcend the trauma he endured and embrace joy.
This phenomenon is not uncommon among individuals who have overcome tragic loss, debilitating illness, or devastating injury. It is as though such experiences force one to reset their focus. Fortunately, suffering isn't a precondition for a refreshed mindset. We all have the capacity to choose to see things differently.
I am privileged to have the opportunity to see the world anew every day through the eyes of a curious (almost) two year old. This winter's snowfall - rather than an inconvenience and travel hazard - was something to be touched and watched and marveled at. A large cardboard shipping box - rather than something to be broken down and carried to the recycling room - became a room itself, perfect for tea parties, games of hide-and-go-seek, and the cat.
As we move through life at ever-increasing speeds, it can be easy to overlook the magic of the simple joys that surround us. Today, as you go about your ordinary routine, can you keep your eyes open for the possibility of joy? Can you become - even for a day - the person who brightens the day for others?