Saturday, April 05, 2014

Blue Day

This past week was called “Out of the Blue”—a time to become more aware of depression and its many relatives, and to explore our own sadness and strength. In chapel on Wednesday, Cathy led us in a time of self-examination. We spent some time asking ourselves when we have known joy; when we have known fear; when we have known gratitude; and when we have known doubt. 

Here are my thoughts, with no specifics. (True confessions belong in the confessional, not in my blog.) 

Joy seems closely connected with:
·         Family and friends: relationships.
·         Productivity at work.
I’m not sure if this means that God comes most clearly in family and friends and work. At least I can say that I feel the most satisfaction or joy when these three areas are good. 

Fear and Anomie seem closely associated with:
·         Broken relationships: loneliness.
·         Failed productivity—usually because what I want at the moment gets in the way.
Momentary pleasure is perhaps the chief enemy of joy. (This is a problem in a society that elevates having fun above all else.)

We are fearfully and wonderfully made: Gratitude.
·         Memories: Rediscovering the past in my research (as I read about the history of BICWM)—my Dad’s memories; my own memories; the memories of other people in my past.
·         Simple physical pleasure: To play soccer at 63—anything less than “Thank you!” is churlish. (So pleasure is not necessarily the enemy of joy!)

Doubt flows when I live too much in the moment and forget the rest of my life. Memories are good. Joy is good. Sometimes I find it hard to live simply in that goodness. Why do I so often not see with “the single eye”, remembering past failures and searching for a pleasure fix? 

Joy comes in a balance of awareness of the past and living in the moment, neither demanding a pleasure fix nor wallowing in my bad memories. Joy comes from relationships—with God and with family and friends (God’s people)—nurtured with appropriate memories of love and care.


KGMom said...

I would offer another relationship--with nature, with creation.

Climenheise said...

Agreed. I didn't think of that as we sat in chapel, but our relationship with creation is a source of joy and despair, of gratitude and of doubt. Played out on a canvas as big as the world.