Words of a friend brought crystal clarity to a mountain I've been circling for a long time now. Those blogged words brought me back to my own blog, revealing just how distracted I've been from the path to joy, circling instead on the path of fun, healthy, happy pursuits. Nothing wrong with that- - unless you've basked in deeper pleasures and acquired a taste for joy. The past few years have brought many changes. I am a grandmother of five. I've started working out and now boast biceps that are nearly bigger than another anatomical feature in roughly the same vertical plane. Jake and I climbed a mountain in upstate New York- (large for Michigan standards, a joke for any one else's), developed a love of sea kayaking and the camaraderie that grows from exposure to conditions that require you, at times to actually rescue one another - We've started a neighborhood association that is a wonderful, community building pursuit in our declining Detroit suburb that has caused us, and many others, to see our property values drop to a third of what we paid for our homes. I've been elected Precinct Delegate - which brought me close enough to politics to hate it. Jake and I both remain gainfully employed in an area and a time that is challenging for many others. And last October we bought a television set, complete with cable - after not having a television signal in our home for the past 12 years. We quickly became addicted to NCIS. I am happy.
I lack joy.
I rarely engage the Word of God like I did before. God's Words were oxygen to my soul and food for my spirit - and created a strength that enabled me to traverse valleys the lowest I'd ever walked - fully aware of God's presence and provision - with joy. But the beauty of God's grace is that He has not allowed my distracted state of living to fill the void only He can satisfy. He beckons still - He has not abandoned me. Dissatisfaction in the midst of every reason to be fulfilled can only be described in two ways: depression, or a growing awareness that the path has veered off-course. God, being the ultimate joy, the highest pursuit, the ultimate satisfaction - will not allow that place in our souls to be satisfied by a counterfeit. He loves us too much. He demands greater commitment. The world will gladly accept a fake, but Kingdom transactions deal only in honesty.
The road back to joy begins today. Certainly not the first time I've declared this over the past few years. But this time it comes with a commitment with friends that will share the journey, the fellowship and time in the Word together - and provide much-needed accountability. Hopefully I'll blog the Spirit's workings as the springs of living water flow freely again.