Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2022 Blog #18
May 9, 2022
How to make joy last forever
Last week I blogged about grief and how long it can last. I thank so many friends who commented with helpful advice. This week I wish to blog on joy and how long that can last.
Eight days ago I had the joy of baptizing my newest grandson, Samuel. I love baptizing children. It is a true pastoral joy. I liken this level of joy to the joy that I recall when I witnessed the birth of my daughters and held my grandsons for the first time. The joy of birth and the joy of welcoming new babies into the church is very similar. How do we keep that joy filled feeling from diminishing? How long can joy last?
Life is indeed a mixture of joy and grief. All of us have experienced some of each. How do we live so that we celebrate joy and keep our experienced grief at bay. I do know some people who seem to focus on the negative and ignore the positive. Likewise I know people who only seem to remember he joys and somehow are not affected by the grief that they have endured.
A wise man once told me to remember the Cherokee proverb that says that there are two wolves living within us. The one wolf is good and the other is bad. These two fight with one another for domination of our souls. The wolf that we feed is the one that will win the fight.
We choose whether to feed the joy within us or to feed the grief and hurts within us. How do we starve grief and feed the joy? Quite simply, it is a matter of which we pay attention to more. If we intentionally remember our joys we will reinforce them. Whenever the griefs begin to rise to the surface we can train ourselves to think of a joyful memory. Little by little we can transform ourselves from grief to joy. We all carry both. The question is which will we nurture and which we will neglect.
I pray that we all, even in troubled times, nurture joy and become joy-filled people.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/