Paying attention in life is something that can lead to a more meaningful life, yet we spend much of life not paying attention. I am not talking about paying attention in general, but instead looking for moments of grace and joy that occur in our lives. There is much of life that would divert us from these moments to believing that there is little good and beautiful left in life. So we need to work at paying attention to the joy, beauty and grace that surrounds us. So much of ordinary life is full of such joy, beauty and grace – the laughter we share with someone, the sound of songbirds in early spring, the kind word of a friend or stranger. I challenge you and myself to look for these and other amazing ‘coincidences’ of grace that are part of our lives. To lift them up. To give thanks for them. And to share them with each other.
A quotation to ponder by Henri Nouwen: “Joy doesn’t just happen. You have to choose joy … and keep choosing it.” The Apostle Paul would agree: “Rejoice in the Lord always,” he tells those in Philippi. He goes on to say: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (4:8)
Paul understood that our attentiveness is how we experience and celebrate the beauty and joy of those ordinary moments of grace. Let us ‘choose joy’ and be awake to the grace of God in our lives every day.
God’s joy and grace be with you!