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Sowing Seeds of Joy
Growing Your Spiritual Garden Part II
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22
When was the last time that you experienced complete and uninhibited joy? Perhaps you recently witnessed the miracle of birth or you watched your child take his or her first steps. Do you remember the feeling that came upon you at the moment? What did it feel like to your body, mind, and spirit?
The magnificent thing about joy is that it is the emotion that allows the individual to be completely free. It is the emotion that makes us feel like we are walking ten feet above the ground. We are happy, we are carefree, and we do not care who is watching us if we decide to act foolishly in response to our elated behavior.
The sad thing about joy is that when we reach our adult years, we develop a tendency to hide our joy. Somewhere along the line, adults have been told that joy should be suppressed and displayed only during socially accepted occasions. As a result, we contain our joy. We celebrate on the inside while our facade remains stoic.
Joy should never be contained. It is an emotion that should be shared because joy is a contageous emotion. Think about the people that you interact with on a daily basis. Do you live with or work with someone that could be considered joyful? There is a pretty good chance that you know someone who fits this description. Joyful people are fun to be near. These individuals have smiles that last forever. They are the people that we yearn to be close to when we are feeling down because the mere sounds of their voices give us hope to persevere.
Simply stated, joy improves our quality of life. If we embrace our God-given right to feel and possess joy, our physical and spiritual health will benefit in the long run. Think about all of the emotions that accompany joy. While in a state of joy we are happy, we are energetic, and we feel less stress. In addition, we are better prepared to handle mental challenges because, when we experience joy, problems do not seem so complicated. We are able to come up with creative solutions to issues that may have seemed insurmountable at one time.
Joy is quite beautiful; but, what if you have forgotten what it feels like to experience joy? What if you are one of the adults who has become afraid of joy? If you need to be be reacquainted with joy, spend a few minutes watching a child at play. When children are at play, they are naturally joyful. Children experience sheer joy at the sight of a grasshopper jumping through blades of grass. They are not afraid to run, jump, yell, and invite anyone to come along with them on their adventures. We should develop this same mentality.
In our spiritual garden we need the seeds of joy to remind us of what it is like to be childlike in nature. We need the seeds of joy to help us marvel at the wonders of creation and to help us find the magic that is at the heart of pure joy.