Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rejoice, Dammit!

The Listphoto © 2010 Hugh Lee | more info (via: Wylio)
It's getting close to Christmas, so clearly we should all be in the rejoicing mood, right?

Yeah, I feel ya'.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love this time of year. Being busy isn't always the worst thing in the world, especially if you're like me and have a bit of a rut that you get sucked into all the time. You know, the laundrycleaningcookingdishes rut that doesn't have any kind of end and just repeats over and over and over, ad nauseum. It's definitely not the most fun in the world, and sometimes a break from the monotony is a welcome relief.

But it's also very easy to get into this place where we are so focused on what needs to be done that we just add the joy element to the check list.
  • Purchase and wrap Christmas presents. Check.
  • Practice music for the church service. Check.
  • Write and mail Christmas cards. Check.
  • Rejoice. Check.
  • Clean and decorate the house. Check.
It's definitely a case of "one of these things is not like the other." 

When we add rejoicing to our To-Do Lists, I think it really ceases to be rejoicing. At that point, it's simply a mask we put on to be the person that we're supposed to be rather than to be the person that we are. Yes, there are numerous verses in the Bible encouraging rejoicing even in the midst of busyness, sadness, difficulties and other "non-joyful" times, but I believe we're to cultivate a genuine joyful attitude, not simply use the word without actually encountering any joy.

When I read the Christmas story, I love reading about the shepherds. They're some of my favorite characters in the whole thing. These guys were doing their job. They were "keeping watch over their flocks by night." But even in the midst of doing their work, they were available. They didn't have to pen in the angelic host for an appropriate moment of joy. They didn't need someone cracking the whip, telling them that NOW was the time to rejoice. It found them naturally and when it did, they were open to receive it and to revel in it.

As we enter the home stretch toward Christmas, let's not allow our list become so full that joy becomes a chore. Let's leave some room so we can rejoice.

What prevents you from truly rejoicing at any given time? What do you do to cultivate a joyful attitude?


This was a part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. To read more entries or to submit your own, head over here.

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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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