Monday, December 29, 2014

What is Peace and Joy? (40 Possibilities)

Joy and Peace. What of them? How do we define them? How do we access them? What are we to do to ensure they are ours? And if they are some way off, how do we patiently work our way there? This is simply a small list of possibilities. Anyone can think up ways to joy and peace. It’s a great spiritual exercise.
What is peace and joy?
1. Clarity of thought. 

2. Mastery of mind. 
3. The capacity to feel. 
4. The sheer thrill of nature observed. 
5. Holding possibilities in tension. 
6. Being free of bitterness and resentment.
7. Knowing the love of God.
8. Having reconciled the past.
9. Not anxious for the future.
10. Breathing, feeling the lungs.
11. Sensing and perceiving.
12. Prospects for growth.
13. Having options.
14. Acknowledgement of blessing.
15. Counting spiritual riches.
16. Ageing with grace, knowing the best is yet to come.
17. Tracing all the good memories to their source.
18. Having won the race at conception.
19. Seeing the miracle of sight out of the eye.
20. Knowing the wonder of science is from the hand of God.
21. Letting life be.
22. Watching the wonder in a child’s play.
23. Life without comparison.
24. Gardening without time pressure.
25. Following the wheel go around.
26. Appreciating the marvel of motion.
27. Valuing split-second reflexes.
28. Forging sweet alliances.
29. Joy for joy’s sake.
30. Peace, because it can be created.
31. Joy because of peace. 
32. Peace because of joy.
33. Flights of fancy because we can.
34. Hope’s paradox: despair places us at the pivot of hope.
35. Failure: success is meaningless without it.
36. Perfect created order: science commanding the praise of God.
37. Ice cream. So many sensual experiences are good.
38. When vanity is our only concern.
39. Beauty everywhere. Seeing it.
40. Love. Winning a soul to love is peace and joy.
Peace and joy, of course, are supremely connected; we have one and we generally have the other. And not just that. Wait, there’s more. Hope underpins them both. And how did we get to hope but an expressed faith? With love we have power to achieve all these. What we have here is the circle of virtue!
But peace and joy are wonderful in their time. Once we possess them, finding our way to reproduce them almost at will, we go there, keep them, and retain them.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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