I admit, sometimes I try too hard. It isn’t intentional. I am not trying to overthink it. I want it to be natural and smooth. But most of the time I make it more of a chore. I just want to find the pure joy and so I seek it out. I want to know where joy is found. I look for it around every corner. I try to identify it in activities or people or places. And I miss it.
This morning, I am sitting on my patio watching my dog play. Anytime I can just sit and watch him is like the best show ever. It is an absolutely beautiful and peaceful spring morning. The birds are singing their songs, the sun is rising with slow yet powerful force, and the breeze is ever so slight. It is a wonderful morning. I watch Leo digging in the dirt. Admittedly, I am not a fan of him digging up my back yard. Most of the time, I try to redirect his attention to catch a ball or chase a lizard. This morning, though, I watch. I just stop to watch him dig without interrupting him. He digs with his all, dirt flying everywhere, nose sniffing out any surprise that might pop up. His paws are covered and his head goes lower and lower into the ground as he digs with such fury. He looks so focused but when he pops his head up to look at me, I see the pure joy on his face. His dirty tongue is hanging out and he exudes excitement. He didn’t catch anything or find any new treasures. He found joy in the digging, in the search, in the simple task of being in the dirt.
I realized – that’s my goal. Not to search for joy so much that it snatches the joy away from me, but to find joy in the search. How might my life change if I found joy in simply doing the things I loved the most, not searching for any outcome? How much joy would I discover is already there if I just enjoy the dig? What if the dirt is enough? If I could do that, would I pop my head up, tongue hanging out, and a smile on my face from the joyful bliss? Lord, may it be so.
2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.