JOY TAKES WORK
(Thursday, October 5)
“Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and with Your governing Spirit establish/uphold me.” (Ps 50/51:12)
Years ago, I heard a wise person say, “Joy takes work.” I didn’t like this thought, back then, but it rings true to me today. As we can see in the above-quoted “penitential” Psalm 50/51, (which begins with the words, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy”), our every act of “repentance” or “metanoia” (change of mind or change of focus), before God, is at the same time our “work” together with and in His Spirit, on the restoration of joy in our lives.
As we “clean house” on a daily basis, recognizing and handing over to God our sins and shortcomings, not in morbidity or self-centered wallowing in them, but always looking toward His light and lightness, we open up our hearts to the joy of His real presence in our lives. It’s a great relief, nay, a joy, to walk forward into any given day, including this sunny Thursday here in Vienna, with the awareness that we are not alone. God’s mercy, love, compassion, and righteous judgment are always near, and often breaking through the clouds of our misjudgments and misfires at ourselves and others, as we let ourselves wake up to His presence in our imperfect midst. “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation” this Thursday morning, my Lord, “and with Your governing Spirit establish me.”