The beginning. Again.

20121121-205102.jpgI’m writing this from my bed, where I’ve spent the better part of four days battling it out with my arch enemies chronic pain and the accompanying fear that life can never be normal.

I did manage to get myself dressed yesterday to pick up some much-needed sustenance. On the way, I came across a Goodwill store where I found a barely used copy of John Ortberg’s book, “The Life You’ve Always Wanted.” It doesn’t take a prophet to know that lying in pain for days is not exactly what I imagined for myself and I figured $2.49 was a small price to pay for the life I was hoping for all along.

Turns out the book is about spiritual disciplines. This was a disappointment as I was in no shape to incorporate any to-do’s in my daily routine and mostly I didn’t want to hear about what a tragic mess I had become–no doubt because I hadn’t practiced the necessary disciplines in the first place.

But I was wrong.

The first substantive chapter is titled “A Dee Dah Day.” I can handle that. It’s about learning to celebrate the little things and increasing our capacity for joy. I may not be able to do much when pain bowls me over, but I can look for some small gift of God in its midst. And so I did.

The photo above is the view out my bedroom window. It’s what I’ve been staring at for much of these past days, thinking about how God brings the change of seasons year after year. He’s seen countless autumns turning into winters, but He keeps making them as enchanting as ever.

Did you know that God never gets tired of His creation? He never gets sick of the sunrise and sunset. Every morning He says “This is the day I have made, so let’s be JOYFUL and happy in it!”

And even though this pain-imposed timeout is not part of the life I’ve always wanted, I’m going to use it to cultivate the ability to celebrate and experience JOY. And you never know…it might even make me feel better.

A joyful heart is good medicine. {Proverbs 17:22}

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