Cultural Commentary
What brings you joy?

May 31 – What brings you joy? This question came up the other day, and we all had to really think about it. Some of us said our relationship with God, others talked about their kids, some talked about friends and relationships, and others talked about being in nature. The conversation was going along fine until someone said that much of his life was spent on things that didn’t bring joy. He mentioned laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, repairing the house, chauffeuring kids around, helping with homework, etc. As I thought about it, he is right – most of our lives are spent on the more mundane and tedious, not that these things are unimportant, but they can feel more like a duty than a joy. In Christian circles, there is a lot of pious, lofty language about joy, but as I see it, the key to joy is finding meaning in the mundane. One of the greatest disservices over the past few hundred years has been to separate the sacred from the profane, the holy from the worldly. Everything is sacred. Let me say that again, everything is sacred. What does that mean? Everything we do and every choice we make shapes our character (and the character of those around us), and because of that, it all matters to God. God cares about laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. Even when we feel unappreciated or taken advantage of, God smiles when we serve.

From God’s perspective, I wonder if there is even such a concept as the “mundane”. It all matters. IT ALL MATTERS! When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and cooked fish after his resurrection – was that “mundane”? As followers of Christ, we are to take up the cross and follow. It is called the cross for a reason – because serving can be painful if we expect the world’s appreciation. Take up the cross anyway. When you do this, God smiles. Will you smile too? There is no mundane – maybe that is the secret to joy.

Associate Pastor Emeritus, Greg Zehner

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