Friday, June 3, 2011

Opening My Eyes

     What a blessing One Thousand Gifts has been to me.  I thought I was alone.  Joy can be with me, pounding in my heart and in my head one second, and with one harsh word spoken between my children, can be stolen like a vulture swooping down on it’s prey.   I always thought my problem was mine alone.  The book refers to  Luke 9:28-36, “Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus,Master, it is good that we are here.  “Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah"— not knowing what he said.   As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!"  And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.  And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.”
     They wanted to stay in that moment, when all was well and full of joy.  No sorrow, strife, or fear surrounded them, they had arrived and figured out how to be happy.  I feel those moments all of the time.  This morning I took the dogs out after they ate for the morning ritual.  The grass was wet from the nightly watering.  I sat on a porch step and took in the morning.  Sheep bleating, birds chirping a song just for me.  Branches were swaying to the melody.  The same wind brushing my cheeks, causing  me to breathe deeply and sigh.  I was feeling joy.  After much convincing, Peanut got down to business, but Betty Betty Birddog decided I was not convincing enough.  Within seconds, she had stolen my joy.  The secret to it all is to be able to hang onto joy in the midst of life.
     I have to go into life with my eyes wide open.  That song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Michael W. Smith, that’s what he’s saying.  Even in the midst of frustration and irritation with others, I have to look for the joy in everything.  God sees it, so if I try I can see it too.  When I go to God and ask for His forgiveness, I must know that He has to see all of me.  The bad and the good, and He makes a choice to look at the good in me.  That’s how I can forgive and love like God does.  I have to truly SEE!
     I am going to do an experiment for ten days.  The One Thousand Gifts  calls it Eurcharisteo (real joy).  I am jumping in with eyes wide open for these days, and I am going to find as many things as I can to be joyful about and write them down.  I will share them and I will challenge you to do the same.  Reading this book has been such a blessing, but I feel putting this into practice is where the real blessing lies.  I want to live my life with joy and gratitude with my eyes wide open in every situation.  There is always good to see.  Then I can discover the life God meant for me to live.