I was traveling earlier this week. I booked a ticket on an airline I had never used, but just had needed a cheap flight. The purchase and online check in prior to my arrival to the airport was frustrating in the way they tried to nickel and dime every basic part of the flying experience. I was not looking forward to the flight.
At the gate I discovered we were among the honored on our flight. Two of the original members of the Tuskegee Airmen were flying home to Detroit. I had to look them up to be reminded that they were the first African American fighter pilots during WW2. They had been in DC to see their exhibit at the new African American Museum.
Many people were getting photos with them and shaking their hands. Even the pilots of our plane greeted them. They were announced prior to take off and the whole plane applauded. It was a moving moment and a simple joy.
As I sat waiting for the plane to take off, the children sitting behind me were chattering at a rapid rate and kicking my chair. It kept happening throughout the flight and instead of feeling annoyed, I finally gave in and let it happen. The chattering and giggles were joyful.
I could see a few rows ahead of me, a young girl playing peek a boo with the white haired lady in the seat behind her. Simple joy.
I had the privilege to attend the 25th anniversary service of a previous congregation I had served at last weekend. There was so much JOY in each hug that I received. Although there wasn’t much time for conversation, the hugs and kind words were all I needed to be filled up and encouraged. It was a celebration completely covered in joy.
It’s very easy to miss these simple joys, yet they are all around us in every facet of life. In recent months, I have lost sight of things which bring me joy. I’ve felt the stress of life and just have had enough energy to wade through it all.
Simple joys are life giving and provide reprieve in the midst of challenge. Reading, baking and playing guitar are all things I enjoy doing, but activities that happen very rarely in recent years. Someone asked me recently, “What do you like to do?” My mind went blank. I blurted out, “Run”, which is true, but something I hadn’t done in months.
During this 31 day challenge I will re engage with Scripture, activities and moments that bring me joy. I thought about planning them for each day to make blogging easier, but that takes a bit of the fun out of it. So, I’m stepping outside my comfort zone and engaging spontaneously. I’ve brainstormed a list to get me started, but we will see what each day brings. I hope that this exercise will help me to see the opportunity to engage in joy filled activities, whether it’s a long lost hobby or a moment in my day.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” -Psalm 51:12 (NIV)
The Lord has given me joy through the promise of his son, Jesus. The Lord has given me life, which gives many joys to experience. My prayer for this journey is that I may more easily see the gift of joy in my daily walk.