Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.
-Teilhard de Chardin
What joy to know that all is well with the soul!
-The Science of Mind, page 486
Happiness, for me, is a feeling response to something happening, like receiving a compliment or watching a friend fall in love. Joy is more an inside job, the revealing of a quality of God that resides within me always. In fact, the joy we find anywhere is more a reflection of the joy we put into it than the joy we take out.
Joy wells up in response to awareness of Spirit. In prayer, meditation, or while walking contemplatively in the woods, I often feel overflowing joyful gratitude. In those moments, I am touched by a love much greater than I usually dare to experience.
We may see evidence of divine life expressing anywhere. I remember how, as a child, I gazed at the thick, shaggy winter coat of a pony with tears of joy streaming down my face. I was appreciating the beauty of Godís Universe, the perfection keeping our animal companions safe in all seasons.
I listened to the leaves crunching merrily with each step on the path. I saw the wonder of wild berries in the harvest time. Berries of every color! A profusion of blue ones adorned the spruce trees, and bright red and orange glistened on the bittersweet. Next I saw maroon ones assembled in natural cornucopias, red clusters on the dogwoods, and patent leather shiny black ones. A squirrel, with a brilliant reddish-orange fruit in his mouth, joyfully leaped between fallen logs. I stopped for a moment simply allowing the joy of being alive to overtake me. I knew all this evidence of an abundant Universe was simply God in action.
I go about this day knowing God in all things. I allow joy to well up within me, connecting me to the wonder of Spirit. Life guides me into byways and paths of beauty, where God expressing as abundance reflects back to me the joy I carry within my own soul.
Connee Chandler, RScP
Published in SOM Magazine April 13, 2001, page 61
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