The school holidays have come to an end, and tonight as I drag the school bags out of the cupboards, put the lunch boxes on the bench and try to stuff all the new stationery into their bags, I've been thinking about the year to come.
So many people have new years resolutions, other's have "words" for the year or new goals - there's nothing wrong with that at all. I have things I want to do differently this year, things I'd like to focus on more and other things I'm wanting to give less of my time to, but one thing I really want to do is to choose JOY more.
So often I can find myself worrying about the things to be done, the things that aren't going right, the things coming up, the current pressures we are going through - and when those things pass, there's always something new. I don't want to live my life like that - and I know that's not the way God intended life to be lived.
Symon and I were talking today about a book he is reading (The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg). I love this excerpt...
"... I realized that I tend to divide my minutes into two categories: living, and waiting to live. Most of my life is spend in transit: trying to get somewhere, waiting to begin, driving someplace, standing in line, waiting for a meeting to end, trying to get a task completed, worrying about something bad that might happen, or being angry about something that did happen. These are all moments when I am not likely to be fully present, not to be aware of the voice and purpose of God, I am impatient. I am, almost literally, killing time. And that is just another way of saying I am killing myself... Ironically, often the thing that keeps me from experiencing joy is my preoccupation with self. The very selfishness that keeps me from pouring myself out for the joy of others also keeps me from noticing and delighting in the myriad small gifts God offers each day. This is why Walkre Percy describes boredom as "the self stuffed with the self."... and I need to learn. Joy is at the heart of God's plan for human beings. The reason for this is worth pondering awhile: Joy is at the heart of God himself. We will never understand the significance of joy in human life until we understand it's importance to God..."
I want to choose JOY more this year. I want to live in the moment, whether it's hard, painful, mundane or wonderful, and choose joy no matter what. God's mercies are new every morning thankfully (Lamentations 2:22-23) - each day is a fresh start.
(Photo's taken during our recent family trip to Kai Iwi Lakes)