We will go out with joy, and be led forth in peace.
As the new year begins and I go through a week of training for my position as a Campus Ministry leader, this phrase has been on my heart and mind. I’ve spent so long focusing on finding peace, rest from the anxiety, a still heart–and now I’m ready for joy. Maybe I’m just bored with seeking the same old, same old. Or perhaps I’m in a better place and feeling more rested and able to be more (though some days are definitely still a struggle). Whatever it is, the Lord is telling me that he’s offering me joy abundant and overflowing. If I’m willing to seek it daily, I know that my Savior is going to provide joy.
Now this may sound a bit odd, but I always thought “Choose joy” was a bit shallow. Some days joy seems like an excuse to laugh and smile instead of thinking about the pain each person is dealing with & the broken nature of our world. I want to be the person who thinks deeply. I want to be a contemplative spirit. But I think this is a selfish way of thinking, because it makes it all about me and what I am thinking, and reinforces this as being the ultimate truth or reality. The fact is, I need to get over myself. And part of this is choosing to go out each day in joy (the intentional choice that others see), and be led forth in peace (the gift God provides that I feel).
Note: Scripture does call us to “seek peace and pursue it.” I think seasons may have something to do with why this year I feel called to focus on joy. Any thoughts?