Counting it all Joy

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During the downtime between jobs, I went with a friend to see the movie La La Land.

I loved it! It’s made in the style of an old movie musical and it’s beautiful and sweeping. The pairing of classic motifs with the story of two struggling artists was relevant and fantastical all at once.

A dance scene in particular struck something in me as I was watching that made me think, “This is it. This is what I want.” I couldn’t even tell you in that moment what “it” was. There was an innocence and an enjoyment that was contagious. There was something there I knew was the intangible something I wanted to carry with me into this new season.

With some further processing, I found what I was craving was joy.

I have been tempted to look at this stage in my life as a “between” stage. Between college and a masters. Between my last relationship and my next. Between dorm room and house. Between singleness and marriage. Now between my last job and the one I start today.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to discount “between”. It’s the middle bits, the commercials, the intermission. The part we rush through to get to what is next.

Guess what this stage is actually not? The between.

I’m not actually between things. I’m in something and I’ve been all too willing to miss that.

No, I may not be where I want to be, but I am somewhere and I am there with great purpose. So why not be there?

There’s a quote I really love that has been coming to mind more and more lately:

Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
—Jim Elliot

You know how I know where I am is the will of God? Because I’m here.

So back to La La Land:

Once the lights came up and the spell of the story had done it’s work, the friend I went to see it with groaned a little, saying:

“It was beautiful, but I didn’t like the ending.”

I could see where she was coming from. (And I won’t spoil it, I promise.) I felt differently about the ending, though.

After the characters thought about what could have been, they decided where they were was where they needed to be.

Joy and presence.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Joy in trials. Joy in the places we do not want to be. Joy in the places that are uncomfortable, that are unknown, that are unlike where we imagined we would be at this point in our lives.

I want to be rooted here where God has placed me and to find joy there.

This will be hard. There are a lot of things I wish were, but they aren’t. Instead, I am here. And you are in your own ‘here.’

We are all in our specific ‘here’ for a reason that is not for us to know right now. But we are here to have joy and and perseverance. To serve and live fully in whatever He has placed before you.

Count it all joy to be where you are. Here is where the adventure begins.

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2 thoughts on “Counting it all Joy

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