Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joy Recovered

Jim Schembri writes in today's Age about the loss of joy as we grow up. His descriptions of a child's joy are compelling:

TO SEE a child laugh is to witness joy unalloyed... And they don't need much. The simplest things can set them off. A corny hand puppet. A goofy face. A soap bubble. The way a ball bounces. The popping of a toaster. The noise a handful of crushed banana makes when they slap it into your nose while you are trying to feed them. They love it.

He further charts our attempts to reclaim that joy in hyperrealities (ala Mark Sayers):

...what would we give to recapture even a small measure of that joy? The answer is anything and everything. We devote a great part of our lives and a good portion of our money to reach that state of bliss we hear in a child's laugh. We indulge in those things that promise pleasure. Cars, carnality, big houses, pools, trophy wives, exotic foods, chemicals, herbs. We ingest them through every available sense and membrane, often to excess, all in pursuit of that elusive, exquisite feeling that will finally tell us: "This is what it is to be happy." ... Yet with each artificially induced high comes the inevitable flare-out. We realise in the hollow afterglow that something essential is missing. We don't know what, but we know it must be out there, somewhere.

He ends nowhere really, advising that we should just enjoy children being joyful. But I think there is more that can be done...

It occurs to me that there maybe a reason why as Christians we are told to be like Children (Mt 18:3-4) and also that there is such a heavy emphasis on joy in both the OT & NT.

I think that when we come into the kingdom as children, and lay down all our 'adult importance' and all our heavy burdens of life and just ACCEPT grace and love from the hand of God, the simplicity of that, the gratitude that we feel results in a childlike joy. Once again there is no complications, no chasing acceptance, nothing but finding pure joy and rest in the stopping of striving, stopping of stressing, stopping believing that we carry the world on our shoulders.

Hoping that you are experiencing the joy of your salvation today :-)

God bless,

1 comment:

Louise New said...

Interesting article! Thanks for posting it.

I think it is possible to recapture some of that joy from our childhood by thinking like a child, as you've stated but also by being in God's presence. I think that if we truly desire God and seek Him, we will find Him and find joy from knowing Him.

God bless you!