Monday, January 11, 2010

Joy, light, love

Did I mention in the last post that being joyful is so difficult? Such a pain in the ass, often. And maybe that posting took place during a brief manic cycle, because I felt really down yesterday afternoon & evening.

Being joyful in all circumstances (for the perfectly enlightened), most circumstances (the rest of us), is possible. But it requires resilience and effort. I was sitting in meditation this evening because I needed a quiet place to go for a few minutes, and the image of a punching bag came to mind. That kid's blow-up bag weighed down with sand on the bottom that you could hit, and they'd tip over and then pop right back up again. What were those things called? My family is unanimous: "punching bag." (How would my kids know?) Anyhow, they are one of the many simpler, non-gadgety toys that seem to no longer exist!

So, that is what it takes to be joyful. Just keep popping back up when life smacks you another one. Do it with a silly grin painted on your face, and you'll really give people something to wonder about.

I've noticed it is always easier to be joyful around acquaintances than people who know you well, like family. Besides, your family is the most likely to give you a reason not to be joyful!

Dwaine and I picked up the kids together today. This never happens, but it happened today because our car suddenly developed a major oil leak and will require major, expensive surgery. The boys piled in, and their attitude quickly became clear. What's for dinner? I'm thirsty! Is there any water in here? Oh my GOD, please don't stop there (at an errand)! Can we just go home?

Dwaine was amazed; I was not. He stopped upon hearing Austin's whiny protest and said, "OK, that's how I am going to act toward you when you expect me to drive you everywhere. Pick you up after the movies end at 10:30? Oh, GOD, no!"

That message did sink in, because after we returned from picking up a quickie dinner at HEB, Austin apologized, and asked (practically begged) Dad to go run the errand after all. Loss of transportation -- that's a serious threat.

For some bizarre reason, Austin told his youth leaders at church that he'd like to give a sermon sometime, and now he has been signed up to give one at church on Saturday. This is while our pastor visits Antarctica. I think it will go fine, but Austin likes to procrastinate. The more pressure, the better and harder he works. But, this is the thing about having a 15-year-old, he's got to do it himself now. I don't want to give any major assistance. But it is interesting to speculate on what he will come up with. What kind of sermon will a 15-year-old boy give, anyhow? I really haven't a clue. Guess I'll find out.

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