On Sunday, my family unit (consisting of Nathan and Wilber, and myself) was asked to light the advent candle representing joy. I was at first very grateful to be at a church that acknowledges the importance of these people in my life. And then was glad for our candle to be the candle of joy. [The first week of Advent, Nathan was highly, highly amused that my first instinct for the candles was "Hope, Peace, Love and Happiness," the order of the last three being a kickback from my hippie days when I used to sign everything with a peace sign, heart and smiley face and sign my name with a flower at the end of it.]
Joy has been an elusive thing for me. I tend to dwell in all the murky and mucky parts of life, and think that I am failing at something because I have yet to find happiness, which is joy, which is of God. But then something has changed within me as of late. I have begun to realize that joy is something different. That it can be found in the midst of sorrow, exhaustion and worry. That it can bring with it peace, and hope, and is found where love is present. On my way to church on Sunday morning, exhausted from having worked the previous night in the mounting snow, I sat on the train and thought about what it was that we were about to read to the church. And I thought of the days of laughter spent with friends celebrating holidays and birthdays and Tuesdays. Of the glimmers of hope with difficult patients, and of people in my life who see and understand what it is that I am trying to do. So as the holidays, and the New Year approach, I continue to seek the joy in life, to know that contentment may be better than happiness, and to look to the coming days with hope that it can only get better. Peace to you.