So much of our lives is about having things. We buy things, sell things, accumulate things and then must organize and de-clutter our things. One of the most popular books being sold right now is called “The Life-changing magic of tidying up’ – a wonderfully helpful book on how to de-clutter the things in our lives. In it, we are told that we should take each thing that we own and ask: Does this thing bring me Joy? If it does, we keep it. If not, throw it out!
This gem of a book is special because it shows that orientating ourselves to joy is vital for the human spirit. For every human heart, each one of us is meant to be bearers of joy, related to joy in our essential being.
And yet, at the same time, if we only ask the question of what gives me joy, we will never overcome the problems of consumerism and egotism that plague our humanity. The question, does this give me joy? still only address our lower being, the consumer in us, the one in us who always wants more.
But within every human soul there is not only a taker but a hidden giver, an inner radiant light, like the sun, that longs to shine and give life to the world. This giver is our higher being and it is only activated not when we ask what can give me joy and pleasure, what can this person, this nature, this stuff give to me – no, our higher being comes alive when we ask – how can I bring joy to this person, this thing, this work, how can bring joy to nature herself.
Dear friends, becoming Christian means becoming like little suns, the light of the world. We are not lights because everything around us is just the way we want to be, we are not lights because we have selected only people and things for our lives that bring us joy. We become the light of the world by our capacity to give, to give joy, love and peace to everything around us, no matter how painful, how dark.
This contemplation by Rev. Evans was inspired by Michaelmas