Thursday, January 21, 2016

Three Mandates for Being Mindfully Joyous

SPENDING a Sabbath-moment resting in the glory of God; he speaks!  He speaks through his Spirit into my soul when I slow down enough to breathe — and ask.  What better ask is there of a soul desiring God, asking with no particular intent other than, “God, speak!”
Here’s one ‘program’ of thought his Holy Spirit ushered through me:
Three ways to enjoy today:
1. Be intensely grateful for yesterday.
2. Be intently hopeful for tomorrow.
3. Be interested in the present.
***
Being Intensely Grateful
Gratitude creates joy and the more grateful we are the more joy we can experience.
When we focus mindfully on even one aspect of yesterday we are grateful for, we practice an intensity that infuses thankfulness for that one blessing.
Being intensely grateful entreats the reality of eternity.  It draws us into God’s realm.  It makes us available to the experience of his Presence in our moment.  Being grateful with intensity makes it possible that we might weep for just how good God is.
Joy is consummate when tears flow, and chins quiver, for how good God has been.
Being Intently Hopeful
We cannot control many of the things that occur to us in this life, but we can be intently hopeful overall.  We can institute such control over our future as to be expectant that goodness will lead us and be our rear guard all the days of our lives.
This is not about an absence of loss; it’s more about knowing God is with us even in spite of the grief we experience.  We see that we can be hopeful even in the presence of pain.  Indeed, the legs of hope are stretched and ready to run when we’re most pressed by life — that’s how it ought to be.
Being intently hopeful notwithstanding the circumstance stretches us out into the farthest reaches of faith.
Being Mindfully Interested
So much is achieved toward the bounty of joy when we simply commit to being interested.  Being interested is being mindful — the fullest engagement of our minds on the living to be done in the moment.
Each moment calls us to a certain situation.  Ours is to allow the moment its time; even (especially) if the moment is something we’re not enjoying.  Being mindful is the practice of stripping away distractions that would dilute our focus on the present.  Activities we don’t enjoy will be more enjoyable.
And the truth is, with God, we can bear the moment.  Actually, when we’re mindfully interested in our moment — no matter how good or bad it is — God takes us out of ourselves, he makes us reflective, and we gain the perspective of the Lord.
The present moment is pregnant with possibility for the Presence of God to meet us.
***
Life is enjoyed simply in being intensely grateful for yesterday, intently hopeful for tomorrow, and in being mindfully interested in the present.
The opportunity to glorify God is salient in being thankfully joyous, and the blessings of God are potent when we do just that.
Today’s purpose is to magnify the glory of the majesty of God.  There is no better way than by an uncomplicated joy.  And the more we’re bound to the constraints of struggle or suffering, the more glory goes to God in seeking to practice joy now, anyway.

© 2016 Steve Wickham.

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