By Christyn Baer
“Joy” might be my favorite Christmas word; I can’t think of another that produces such a deep and overflowing feeling of excitement. In The Life You’ve Always Wanted, John Ortberg addresses “The Practice of Celebration.” He reminds us that Joy is at the heart of God’s plan for us, for it is at the heart of God himself. We can see joy most visibly in children, for they live every moment as though life is the gift that it truly is. Us “grown-ups” are so busy hurrying from one task to another that we miss the joy… the life… the gift… that is right in front of us. As I reflected on this, I recalled a journal entry I wrote on this day last year. Our son Ellison was 2 ½ at the time. He was (and still is) a blonde blur, full of energy and passion and energy… 12/13/15 The 3rd Sunday of Advent: JOY!
If I had to describe Ellison in one word, this would be it. He is absolutely full of JOY. To the brim. His cup runneth over. Every day is full of new discoveries and big adventures and tiny moments that bring sheer elation. Things like seeing his sister roll over – “She rolled over!!!” Or commenting on all the things he likes (always in third person) – “Bubba loves tacos! I do! You love tacos Mommy?” Or talking with Beasley (our dog) – “You wanna go on a walk? Yeah? You do!?!? Yeah?”
The inflection in his voice, the smile that covers his face, the gurgling laughter from deep in his belly. Manifestations of his joy. It’s a trait that I hope will never be extinguished and I aim to do all I can to continue fanning the joyous flame. Please God, remind me not to let less significant things – like my need for order and routine – get in the way of Ellison’s Joy!
As C.S. Lewis stated, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” So perhaps we can take ourselves less seriously this season… Just REST in the moment and take in the JOY that surrounds us.