When I lose sight of the joy and beauty to be found, I get swallowed whole by the ugliness and despair in the world. The human race is walking further and further away from God. We are consumed by the pleasures of this life. Our headlines are about the economy, how to look younger, what to get for Christmas, celebrity gossip, sex, losing weight, death. It is depressing and offers little hope for the future. Too often, I allow my entire day to consist of temporal worries and despair. I do not take the time to saturate myself with God's word and promises. I live like the rest of the world, fixated on the daily grind and wishing for things I don't need.
But we have hope. I have hope. Jesus Christ has conquered death and sin and he will come again to take his people home. I should not focus on the grim and despair and forget that the Holy Spirit walks this earth in all who have called upon the name of the savior. We have power. I have power. I know the beauty and the hope and the joy and it is my privilege and responsibility to share that with a world in such desperate need. I am not like this world. I am not of this world. I am a subject of the kingdom of God, a daughter of the King. It's time to stop wallowing in the mud in tattered rags, bemoaning the fate of those around me. I must rise, put on my blood-washed garments and shine with the reflection of God's glory. I must make a difference in the world; that is why I am here.
I must learn this art of gratitude and joy - not only for me, but for everyone I encounter. So, I embark again on this journey. I think I will leave Ann's prompts behind and just look for and focus on the gifts of joy that are given to me. Since I am still learning, I will continue (or rather re-start) keeping a daily account on this blog.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you.