Today, I choose joy.

I just walked home from work under the clear Sapporo night sky, praying out loud to the God who loves me, and this was the thought that hit me.

Straight in the chest.

Joy is choice.

It’s a daily choice.

It’s a wonderful choice.

My choice is You, God, first and only. (Psalm 16: 5)

And in that choice, is the reality of joy.

Tonight I was teaching an English-class on stress. As in, we were learning English, but the theme for our current unit is ‘health’ and the theme for this particular evening was ‘stress’ and that couldn’t help but lead to a whole range of interesting conversations.

One of my students said, ‘When I’m stressed I choose to run, because if I run my body gets away from stress and then my mind has to catch up’.

It was a humorous image of our choices.

And it made me pause and think as I walked under the stars praying that I would be changed by grace.

Of the power of capturing our thoughts in the mundane and choosing joy.

And choosing God.

My choice is You, God, first and only. (Psalm 16: 5)

It’s so easy to write.

It’s so totally not easy to live.

It changes everything.

It changes whether I am influenced to live a life that is pleasing in the eyes of man, or in the eyes of the eternal God. It reminds me that all is laid on His altar, yet in that death I truly live.

Life and art are never about applause, and always about altars (Ann Voscamp). 

It changes whether my quest for self-produced perfectionism is robbing my joy or whether I am resting in His everlasting arms. Because I can never run this race in my own strength, but rather through a place of total dependancy upon Holy Spirit.

Perfectionism is slow death by self. It will kill your skill, your spark, your, your soul (Ann Voscamp).

It changes whether I am growing in cynicism or developing the eyes that belong to one who is a prophet of beauty. And I so long to see with His vision always.

Grow beautifully deaf to the scoffing of the cynics who suit up their every day steely sarcasm to number themselves to a vulnerable joy… The cynics, they can only speak of the dark, of the obvious, and this is not hard. For all it’s supposed to be sophistication, it’s cynicism that’s simplistic. In a fallen world, how profound is it to see what’s broken? (Ann Voscamp)

 

 

My choice is You, God, first and only. (Psalm 16: 5)

So simple. Yet so hard sometimes.

But I love the reality… That we’re also His choice.
And because God chooses me, I can choose Him.

I’ve been singing this song all week, and I’ll leave it here so I can sleep. Worship is truly where my heart feels most alive.

Jesus, I love to sing about who You are. I love to sing about what You do. I love to sing about Your beautiful heart. Makes me feel closer to You.

choosejoy1

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2 thoughts on “Today, I choose joy.

  1. Loved this! Each day, we make a choice – a choice to be joyful or not. We can choose to look for how God is working in our circumstances or we can choose to focus on our circumstances. I choose joy today as well! Be blessed today and find a way to bless someone else.

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