A while back, Lindy had a conversation with her parish priest, in which she said she was “praying for patience” (the topic was kids,… go figure) and the priest told her to stop praying for patience, since the root of that word is Latin for “suffer.” (According to Dictionary.com, Latin, patientia, endurance, from pati “to suffer.”) Instead, he said, she should pray for joy. I loved that idea: Take a seemingly bad situation and try to find the proverbial “silver lining.” Find the joy, indeed.
I think my Lenten journey has been officially renamed, “JoyQuest 2011.” I am going to find the damn joy… even if it kills me. (And you know, the irony has not escaped my notice that here I am bellyaching about kids, worrying about finances and bitching that I have no coffeemaker and people in this world (Japan) have lost their kids, homes and all worldly possessions… including coffeemakers.)
So, with keeping the people in the world who are facing devastation and tragedy in prayer, I am also praying for joy. Praying that each day, when something goes "wrong," or not according to my plan... I take a moment to find the joy and remind myself "my" plan isn't the one that matters. When one of the kids decides to work my last nerve, I need to find joy in that I have kids to work that lone nerve. When someone cuts me off in traffic, I need to find joy in the fact that they didn't hit me doing it. When I struggle to get out of bed in the morning to go to work, I need to find joy in the fact that I have a job. When life gets in the way, keeping me from something on my ever-present, ever-growing "list," I need to find joy in the fact that I did my best today, and (God willing) I will have another day to check something else off the list. When I am faced with a challenge or struggle, I will find joy in the fact that I can close my eyes, say a prayer asking for strength/guidance and I know my prayer will be heard -- and answered in time.
Find the joy.