Seek Joy

“The Lord looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”

From Psalm 102

A friend who has invested many years into his career recently shared that he hopes to move on to something which will bring him joy. He wrestles with this notion because it seems selfish to him to want to do something that makes him happy. The new direction he seeks will actually allow him to serve others in a truly significant way. Still, my friend struggles.

I find that I relate far too well to my friend’s dilemma. I share the notion that what we do in this life is meant only to serve others regardless of how happy or unhappy it makes us. Like my friend, I’ve lost sight of God’s generous gift of free will and God’s absolute faith in my choices. Indeed, it is because of these things that God sent each of us out on our own in the first place.

I am going to encourage my friend to heed his heart’s longing. The happiest people I know do the things that bring them joy. In the process, they also bring joy to those around them. As I speak to my friend, I am going to listen carefully to what I say. You see, it is time for me to heed my heart’s longing as well.

Loving God, you listen to the longings of our hearts and you know our needs before we can speak them for ourselves. Help us to love ourselves as you love us. Give us the courage to hear our deepest cries for joy and to follow them as only we can.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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