The power of joyful moments opened my eyes to a form of mindfulness I previously missed. In my earlier post on my adventures chasing joy, I shared how God showed me joy lived in the present. Joy is like the manna the Israelites gather each day; they gathered only enough for that day. Meditating on that thought each day reminded me to stay present looking for “fresh” joy rather than attempting to live on yesterday’s joy. Mindfulness encourages us to stay in the present moment, without judgment, accepting that moment as it is. It makes perfect sense to me to gather joy in the present moments, but the power of those joyful moments came as a pleasant surprise.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
Cultivating joyful moments
Cultivating joy means exiting autopilot. How much of our days do we spend running on autopilot? When we run on autopilot, we basically “check out” and go through the motions. Until I became intentional about chasing joy in the present, I didn’t realize how often I defaulted to autopilot mode. I noticed the innumerable simple joys overlooked in a single day. Taking time for intentionality, joy met me in a hot cup of coffee at 4:30 am, the feel of my leather Bible in my hands and the warmth of the sun caressing my face during a cold walk.
While gratitude ignites joy, this isn’t a simple gratitude exercise. Gratitude is the entry level into joy. Yes, joy is found in abiding in Jesus, resting there, but what does that imply? It implies a level of trust and contentment. Expressing gratitude for God’s provision in my day ignites the flame, trusting He will provide and contentment in both what and how He provides feeds the flames of joy. God delights in leaving “handfuls of purpose”, “handfuls of joy” throughout our day for us to gather. Because each handful, each simple pleasure we acknowledge with thanksgiving, trust and contentment in the provision and the Provider, ushers us into His Presence with joy unspeakable.
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.1 Peter 1:8 KJV
Fullness of Joy
Psalm 16:11 continually reminds me fullness of joy is in God’s Presence, and Joshua 1:9 confirms His Presence goes with me always. When I shift into autopilot I no longer recognize His Presence. But mindfully seeking Him in the moments of my day reveals the handfuls of joy all around left for me especially by Him. The power of joyful moments like these build intimacy with Christ.
I experienced this recently during an especially difficult day at work. Things unraveled, demands escalated and it seemed the phone rang constantly. Exiting a tense meeting I headed for my office for a respite before moving into the next part of my day. I sat down, closed my eyes and did some mindful breathing while seeking the Lord’s Presence. I confessed the day’s events stole my joy, but I wanted to re-focus and redeem what remained. As I opened my eyes, I looked toward my window and noticed my orchid in full bloom. Its beauty took my breath away, but even more powerful; it never blooms in winter.
Then, even though I had an all classical, instrumental station on Pandora, suddenly a series of popular praise songs came on. I sat dumbfounded with tears in my eyes as the words washed over me. There in my office, Jesus met me for a solid hour breathing life and joy into my soul, and the phone never rang once.
joyful moments transform the ordinary
That day in my office serves as a powerful reminder of the transforming power of intentionally seeking joy. I knew my gaze and perspective shifted to my circumstances, and I slipped into autopilot mode, doing what I always did. But when I chose re-focusing on God’s Presence, He met me there, transforming an ordinary office into a sacred joyful moment. That time not only changed the course of the remainder of my day, but it increased my faith, trust and intimacy in Christ.
The big lesson for me here involved mindfulness. I did allow the day’s events to steal my joy, I did shift my perspective to my circumstances and slip into autopilot mode. Realizing all of that, I sought God’s Presence and re-focusing my perspective. God graciously met me there, ministered to me and restored my joy. But, He did not alter my circumstances, and neither did I ask Him to do so. When the hour ended, I faced all of the same things I faced prior to that time.
Mindfulness Meets Joyfulness
Mindfulness involves intentionally seeking to stay in the present moment, seeking and acknowledging God’s Presence in the moments of our day. However, mindfulness also involves acceptance; specifically, acceptance without judgement. Accepting emotions without resisting, accepting circumstances without judging them as “bad” or “good” and accepting God’s hand in all of those with contentment and trust. This is not begrudging acceptance or resigned acceptance, this is acceptance with complete joy. Mindfulness does not seek change, but personal transformation in allowing everything to be just as it is.
I cannot think of a more perfect way of describing what it means to “abide” in Christ. Abiding is resting; not striving, not petitioning, not seeking to change anything, simply resting in contentment and trust. In John 15:9-11, Jesus tells us to abide in His love, and in so doing, His joy will be in us and our joy will be complete. Joy results when we stay present, fully accepting our circumstances as they are, because we abide in Christ’s love, fully trusting Him. His joy then resides in us and our joy is complete.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.John 15:9,11
The Power of joyful moments
God continues challenging my perceptions of joy, as I travel my One Word 2021 journey. Joy is appreciably more than a simple emotion. Joy exceeds even the description of a state of mind or situational condition. Joy binds us to Christ, for its fullness is found in His Presence. The fruit of intimacy with Christ, joy is a gift transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The power of joyful moments lies in their ability to teach us acceptance of the moments of our days regardless of what they contain. Fueled by gratitude, our acceptance drives us towards Christ, increasing our trust and contentment in Him as our treasure, birthing joy in any circumstance.
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