Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Joy Water

Some days my day is like a dream come true… no matter the tasks that lie before me.. it looks all bliss.  The day is spent smiling and thanking.. my soul skipping along the shoreline of joy.  Droplets splashing up and running down.. clothes and skin wet with a happiness deep.  A happiness undeterred by a small mountain of laundry and dirty floors.  My soul splashing that liquid delight until everything I do is dripping. God seems so close.. thanks seems so natural.
And then other times… my soul looks around and all seems drought.. the reservoir that was just brimming with joy has evaporated to a mere handful. 
No dancing.. for fear of losing those droplets which soul-hands cup tight to preserve.  The horizon is bleak… no sunlight splitting the sky as it prepares to rise over the day.  All is clouded.. those kinds of clouds that don’t even grace with rain. The day spreads before me endless, drab. The sunshine shines bright without… but inside, Soul decide to pull out that old grey woolen sweater to keep off draft.
Soul-eyes dart… body turning this way and that.. finger poised to point, searching for the one who is to blame.  Somewhere, somehow, someone has blocked the source to this pool. 
And eyes always fall first on the Mr. who made me Mrs. …memory begins to unpack the list it so carefully preserves.  Page after page litters the ground as I am reminded of every wrong, every hurt. 
Conclusion drawn, I open the tap and let water run into the pan as I prepare our morning coffee.  And I also open the tap inside, love and appreciation drain dry… breakfast served with eyes downcast and lips carefully placed in a pout. He glances up wondering at the change that has rolled in… the clouds showing from behind eyelids.  This morning… self service.
By the time he leaves for work, I have successfully invited misery to come and abide among us.  And he slithers in.. delighted at the welcome. 
As the gate locks behind him, I flop on the bed… laundry looking like Everest sitting on my floor.  And I hadn’t noticed before… but it is all looking so old and worn. 
I wash, mechanically pouring soap, scrubbing, rinsing, hanging… it seems the blame bearer didn’t bear away the clouds with him… they still hang heavy. 
Soul with hands still cupped, turns again…. Circumstance, Situation, Position.
Imagine how it would be if they all would just change.  Surely then the water could again flow unhindered.
The cycle gets monotonous. Week after week filled with gaping holes… days spent toiling in frustration.  The Mr. tells a joke and elbows my ribs… asking for the smile to show. 
But misery flicks forked tongue from his place on the floor…
Who is to blame?  Who controls the levels of this joy-water? Where is the source?

These days the culture begs us to be real.. raw.  Lets all admit it… life really is the doldrums. Its unavoidable.  And the more real and honest we can be about our failures and shortcomings and humdrums, the louder the applause.  Patting each other’s backs as we sit in the barnyard muck.
But is this the truest reality to be had? Is that all?
The best we can do is to all admit how hard life is? ..and look out across the desert.. hands held in solidarity??
Could there be more?

Soul-eyes glance towards the horizon… maybe the answer lies there.  Soul-hands stuff themselves deep within the grey wool sweater wrapped round, as the journey across the barren begins.  Fingers lock around something metal, cold.  A key, what is it doing here? This sweater is kept safe… always preserved for days like this.  Who could have slipped a key into this pocket deep? 
The journey seems long and tedious… it takes all Soul’s effort to put one foot in front of the other… sitting on the shore had seemed so much easier.  This is taking effort. 
But without effort the purpose of the key would have remained a mystery.  Soul could have never discovered the walls that held joy-water captive…
You see, there are doors on that dam. Ingratitude, comparison, pride, and jealousy shutting them tight.  The joy-water… the presence of God is stopped.. the flow cut off.
 A choice bringing drought, and a choice again allowing refreshment to flow.

This misery.. these clouds… this lack of joy and peace and God-nearness, cannot be blamed on another.   I alone hold that key. 
The saturation I experience in my days hinges on my choice.
Joy-water can be an ever present reality if I want.
I read of persecuted Paul… it seems he had springs unceasing.  He chose Christ… He chose thanks… He knew His end would be glory forever.  These temporal things were not allowed to deter his focus.
And aren’t we encouraged to run this life-race looking unto Jesus who for JOY, endured?!
Jesus who saw mocking. Jesus who saw scourging. Jesus who saw crushing, and cutting off, and death.
And, Jesus who saw beyond that all.

What am I going to see today? Sure there is laundry high, dishes dirty, babies sick, bills looming, and children needy. But is that all I will choose to see?  Will I stop there and let the clouds begin to form as water recedes?
Look UP… look higher… See Him all glorious.  Breathe deep His grace as you begin another day on this planet that is quickly passing.
[Don’t allow the temporal to steal a gaze eternal.]
We can have souls sitting sullen, or souls dancing in delight.
The choice is ours…. Am I going to allow the joy-water to flow today?