December 13, 2015 (Christmas Pageant)

Some days start with a stream of dread. Christmas presents for the family are late, the costumes for the school pageant are not ready. We missed the sale Target was having. The car needed to go the shop already a month ago. Apart from those simple things there are also our frustrations, bad feelings, times we clearly dropped the ball, …

If, in addition to all this, we allow ourselves to be exposed to the daily news blasting and breaking dreadful events, then it becomes harder to remain hopeful and find joy. Especially if we don’t have anything ready to oppose this stream of worry, our minds slide toward pessimism, more stress, a state of energy drain.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice”, is Biblical advice, almost listed as precept, that was never situated in a context of a medicated high or worry-free wealth. This call to rejoice is about mental hygiene, the health of our interior state. It is a proactive stance of our soul to counter the negativity flux with the reality of blessings, privileges, positives that do come our way. By guarding against the influence of gloom we strengthen our capacity of hope. Or with the lens of faith: by remembering the blessings from our God, we open ourselves to the hope God is seeking to infuse in our lives. With some similarity to the Buddha smile, we embrace the joy that come from living connected with the Giver of Life. This is how we at times can achieve being unapologetically joyful, even in moments of dread.

So let us rejoice, in the Lord, again.

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