As the school year comes to a slow pause for Christmas vacation, let’s all remember that we are the ones who bring the worry and frustration and irritability to the season of glad tidings. Quite the contrary, the conclusion of Advent brings new life in the person of Jesus the Christ (“anointed one”) and in turn directs us to remember what true joy means.
Being joyful doesn’t mean you are an unrealistic optimist. It doesn’t even mean that you’re happy more often than you’re not. Joyful is the disposition of recognizing the inherent value of all things. It is smiling when we hear the phrase “bad weather” or “good trip” because life is not meant to be a series of binary options: good/bad, light/dark, happy/sad. We may use them to express how we’re feeling at a given point in time but it’s important to remind ourselves that if we truly see God in all things then being joyful is being fully present and aware of creation that surrounds us.
This holiday season let’s be mindful of the sights and sounds that envelop us, not the tenor of a singer’s voice or the cascading lights on trees but in the everyday. Be more mindful during your daily walk or simply listen to the chatter of family members around the table. Whatever it is, practice joy by giving gratitude for the gift of being present to those we love and those who love us…simply because.
It’s a Great Day to be a Bulldog!