2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:2-6 The Bible (NIV)
I am not a bible-y person. I am not at all religious in fact. I can be buddhist-y or christian-y or hindu-y depending on how I’m moved on any given day. Over the last few weeks people in my life (friends/co-workers) have been moving through some pretty tough life situations. As I heard about each one I felt a deep sadness. While they are not my personal situations and some don’t directly effect me, there is a spirit of compassion that I am fortunate enough to have that allows me to see the interconnectedness of all human beings in existence. It is that compassion, that “gift of sight”, that saddles my spirit with sadness during the calamity of others and fills me with joy during their triumphs. Despite the emotional roller coaster is sometimes produces, I’m grateful for it.
At the cradle of my at times esoteric beliefs is this: There IS something … a force, a body, a spirit … that guides us through life and for the most part seeks to protect us from our silly selves. This force is kind, never cruel or judgmental. It speaks to us through music, art, people, situations, and every now and then it whispers sweet nothings into our spirit. Last night while I was trying to comprehend the loss a long time co-worker and friend of mine and his family was enduring the words “Count it all joy …” were whispered into my spirit. This morning they were still there, so I did what any curious 21st century adult would do; I consulted Google.
Imagine my surprise when I found out it was biblical. Imagine my delight when the words that followed were ones of comfort and encouragement that reassured me that despite what we may be going through it will not only be okay … but if we choose to … we will thrive! They were just the words needed at the appropriate time. That’s how it works … and it is indeed all good 🙂.
If any of my folk happen to come by this reading, know that I am there with you in spirit always, and in the flesh if you need me. As bad as it feels right now, there is joy on the other side. My experience bears this out.