warning – this post contains God and Christianity. It’s ok if you don’t believe in it but you have been warned!!
This post started in my head when the snow started. After that and through last week, I couldn’t get over how miserable everyone seemed to be in public. On the train, in shops and all the pushing and shoving and not smiling or apologising and generally things that hurt my very British sense of order and civility. Then over the span of the weekend it all came together in my head. If I was a Christian, I would almost say that God put it there, hang on I am, He probably did!
So people moaning about the weather, the Tube and so on. God knows I’m guilty of this on occasion but in person, I do try not to whine and I’m a fairly smiley person and the grimness of this has been getting me down, especially given that I’m not having a great week, but I’m trying.
In that passage, Simeon says to Mary,
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
We did talk for a bit about how this is a great prophesy, it’s all, fantastic things will happen but it’s really gonna hurt. Then on Sunday, I was awake early and listening to Radio 4 (as I do all the time!) 8am on Sunday is the Sunday Service. It was from a Salvation Army corp and started with ‘And Can It Be’ which reminded me of my Grandad. The theme of the service was ‘Choose Joy’. The preacher was very clear about this, life wasn’t always happy, grief and pain happen, but for Christians knowing that God is with us and loves us brings us peace and hope and joy. She also talked about joyfulness being choice and a practice.
This stuff came together on Monday morning as I got on the bus and someone shoved in front of me. That same person bashed another with their bag and generally spread discomfort. I had a choice, I could react like them, because it’s Monday and it’s cold and I’m tired and I have a lot to do at work and I would have really liked to be in bed rather than being on the receiving end of someone else’s attitude. Or I could practice joyfulness.
It’s cheesy, it’s all of the cheeses but I chose to try and practice joyfulness. To remember that it was Monday, which is a fresh start, that it was going to be warmer this week, that although work can be a chore, it’s better than being unemployed as I was 3 months ago, that I got to listen to my friend Sue on the radio for 5 minutes this morning. Commuting is never fun but it’s a First World Problem. We could spend time Mary worrying about the pain we are going to have in our life, we could be miserable because life is not perfect, however, all life has miserable, painful bits but Imam a Christian and I know that God is with me, so really I need to learn to be joyful..