Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Anger vs. Joy
Yesterday was our first day of teacher inservice. Determined to have a more positive attitude this school year than I did last, I started reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. This book is beautiful. It's like a piece of really fancy chocolate, you know the kind you want to let melt in your mouth really slowly so you don't miss a single taste? That is this book.
Yesterday morning I sat out on my back patio and read a few pages of this book before heading into work. I was reminded that although I don't like getting up early, I do really love the quiet of early morning. I love the time when the crickets are still chirping and the birds are just beginning to wake up and there is still fresh dew on the grass.
I read this beautiful passage yesterday morning about choosing joy over anger this morning. As you know, "choose joy" is a bit of a slogan for me, so this particular passage resonated with me.
And then yesterday morning at work, some changes were made at the last minute (kids arrive for us on Wednesday) that deeply affected my teaching team. My first reaction was, admittedly, anger. I wanted to storm down the hallway into someone's office and give someone, anyone really, a piece of my mind. I wanted to shout about how unfair it was.
But as the day continued, the words I had read in the quiet of early morning, before the day began and the news came and the anger surfaced....those words came floating back across my mind. In those early morning moments, I pondered the beauty of those words that I now realize God had so intentionally placed in my path exactly when I would need to hear them.
"Why would the world need more anger, more outrage? How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover the joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing in the world?" (Ann Voskamp)
Sharing with Courtney at Women Living Well!