Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Urgency of Joy

Hello beautiful people,

It took a couple weeks to bring you my first official post. Not due to loss of enthusiasm, lack of effort, or New York busy-ness -- but instead, I now realize, I went through 2 weeks of preparation for this post (without even recognizing all the while).

I internalized my purpose in starting this blog and sat with it. And as I did, the world around me started to show me, in a series of very distinct and separate situations, that there is an urgency associated with joy -- one I've never given much thought to until recently. And that urgency was to be the focus of this first post.

Now, in lieu of being overly philosophical, I've chosen to try to make this as plain as possible to you. Because it really is a simple notion.

Our human need to seek and take advantage of joy is just as real and time-sensitive as needing to pee when we've ignored our bladder for hours, needing to find the perfect object immediately to scratch that unreachable spot between your shoulder blades (I rather prefer a comb or spatula), or needing to find your metrocard just as the bus pulls up (as if you didn't think you needed it while you waited at the stop for 5 minutes, lol). It's URGENT. But, in observation of my own life and those of others, I can clearly see now that -- unlike in the case of our nagging full bladders -- we almost choose to ignore joy's shrill cries for attention in our lives.

One of the instances that helped me better understand this occurred at work this week. Our offices moved to a new floor and when I returned Monday to a bustling new environment filled with co-workers struggling to make deadlines while attempting the satisfy their natural need to acclimate into unfamiliar surroundings, I was a bit thrown off. That was until, while unpacking my boxes, the company cable guy (always filled with genuine positive energy) popped his head in to check on my settling in. I returned his grin with an equally broad one of my own and was filled when he sat down and humbly shared how he finds great joy in his encounters with me -- simply because I offer him a pleasant smile and happy disposition with each random run-in. "Talking with you just picks me up," he said. "You never seem to run out of happiness."

Thankfully, I didn't pack my human ego for my office move (lol). Because in this moment my only response was "I have a source of joy that never runs out." I instantly put down whatever it was I was unloading from my boxes and engaged deeper with my friendly cable guy. He went on to share how (though we'd never discussed faith) he could tell I recognized and respected the wonders of God.

As we spoke, the move-in insanity around us became a dull murmur. Gone was the immediate need to finish proposals, schedule meetings, and worry about unhappy clients -- it was now replaced with the urgency of indulging in a simple moment of joy with another human being. Not because he was gonna hook me up with all the premium channels on my office TV, but instead because it represented an effortless high-point in both our days.

Wow, not rocket science, huh?

Joyous moments like these are like rats in the subway -- they are all around us but we struggle to ignore them because acknowledging them makes us uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable in being happy, but uncomfortable in radically stepping outside of the expectations of others and our environment.

I think it's high time to look at the rats :-)

God bless. Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. Aaaaooww! Oh, the cable guy I never knew! So glad confirmation comes through the likeliest (and unlikeliest) sources! Timely word, my love! ;-)