Tuesday, April 12, 2011

leaping into joy

Numbers 21:4-9

Here is a poem i came across recently by Gerald Locklin,

"When my two-year-old daughter
sees someone come through the door
whom she loves, and hasn't seen for a while,
and has been anticipating
she literally shrieks with joy.

I have to go into the other room
so that no one will notice the tears in my eyes.

Later, after my daughter has gone to bed,
I say to my wife,

"She will never be this happy again,"
and my wife gets angry and snaps,
"Don't you dare communicate your negativism to her!"
And, of course, I won't, if I can possibly help it,
and of course I fully expect her
to have much joy in her life,
and, of course, I hope to be able
to contribute to that joy —
I hope, in other words, that she'll always
be happy to see me come through the door—

but why kid ourselves — she, like every child,
has a life of great suffering ahead of her,
and while joy will not go out of her life,
she will one of these days cease to actually,
literally, jump and shriek for joy."

There is something true in the poem above. Something happens to us when we get old. We lose the wonder of it all. Our eyes grow dim and they no longer sparkle and we are no longer amazed by the little things.

As we move through our teenage years rushing along trying to be all grown up, the joy we once knew grows cold.

And we stop literally jumping for joy.

Usually this happens because we turn our eyes inward. All we see is ourselves and how things affect us. We become our own center of gravity and we take ourselves way too serious and the joy God has in store, the Joy God places before us each day, we trample upon and grow bitter and we complain.

Not unlike the Israelites in the desert whom we encounter in our first reading, "But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses."

These are the same people who leapt for Joy as the red sea was parted and they cross dry shod and then saw with amazement and disbelief the army of egyptians swept away before their very eyes. These are the same people who are being led by a pillar of fire at night and cloud by day. These are the same people who are fed with Manna from above and for whom the rock being struck gives forth a fountain flow of water to quench their thirst. These are the same people that experience the shaking of the mountain and presence of God who comes down to speak with them.

THey lose the twinkle in their eye; they no longer are swept away by the wonder of it all. God is boring to them. They have chosen to turn inward and no longer look outward. All they see is themselves. They have become their own center of gravity and they take themselves way too serious. In some sense they are asking the question, "what have you done for me lately."

Boy doesn't this resonate with us.

They cease to leap for joy.

So to day, leap for Joy. Be amazed. Shriek a little, laugh a lot. Be still and know that He is God and he walks with us. Open your eyes wide, turn outward and jump. Recognize what God has done right in your life.

Here is fan favorite to get you started click here

1 comment:

Lynne Carson said...

Van Halen Jump? Really? Lol you're the best Fr David. Very poignant poem and commentary. Thanks : )